After attempting one of his signature fancy-schmancy kicks in Round 1, Pettis wound up on his back with the champion on top of him—a spot from which no opponent has found success inside the UFC Octagon and a spot from which Bendo excels.
From here, many thought, the champ could work his game and safely outpoint Pettis en route to another victory.
"Showtime" changed that.
Pettis immediately snagged an arm and started cranking, earning a verbal tapout and a shiny new belt for his efforts.
man pettis is awesome! i think he'll have the belt for a while must have been a verbal tap #UFC164— Paul Siakaluk (@siakalukpg) September 1, 2013
After realizing the fight was over, the crowd erupted on Twitter as it did in Milwaukee, churning out some gems for the cyber world to enjoy.
Bleacher Report's Steven Rondina did not hide his surprise with this one:
So Bendo being submitted is probably more of a fluke than Anderson getting KO'd. Bold claim, but I'm making it. Time for a rematch!— Steven Rondina (@srondina) September 1, 2013
Before this rematch with Pettis, Henderson had not been submitted as a professional mixed martial artist under the Zuffa banner, a fact which made the finish even more shocking.
Coming into UFC 164, Henderson was 32-32 in defending subs. It was attempt No. 33, an armbar, that finally broke through.— Tristen Critchfield (@TCritchfield52) September 1, 2013
So who had Anthony Pettis via first-round submission in their pool?— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) September 1, 2013
While Pettis may never top his Showtime kick in terms of pure unexpectedness, his submission victory Saturday evening showcased everything that is beautiful about this sport at the highest level.
Following the monumental win, Pettis left us a with a gasoline-soaked memoir for our burning fire of speculation, summarized here by MMAfighting's Ariel Helwani:
Pettis: "Jose Aldo, my belt your belt."— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 1, 2013