A fight involving Benson Henderson usually leaves us scrambling for the FightMetric numbers to dissect the data and to determine a true winner of a close decision.
With the victory, Pettis became the newly minted UFC lightweight champion, ending an impressive 18-month run by Henderson atop the 155-pound mountain.
Before the finish, Henderson enjoyed an advantage in the striking department, edging Pettis in both significant strikes (11 to nine) and total strikes (26 to 10).
However, Henderson failed to complete any of his three takedown attempts, a testament to Pettis' continued evolution as a mixed martial artist.
Even the striking data is a bit misleading, as it was a series of powerful body kicks from Pettis that changed the complexion of the fight and shifted the momentum in his favor.
These kicks backed Henderson against the cage, allowing Pettis to get comfortable and to throw a hand-stand kick. When this failed, Henderson secured top position, giving Pettis the opportunity to attack from his guard.
Here is where the only number that matters—submission attempts—comes into play.
Pettis had one to Henderson's zero, and "Showtime" made that singular act of Brazilian jiu-jitsu count, twisting and cranking until the champion was forced to verbally tap out.
Statistics are fun, but let's be honest here: The FightMetric numbers in this one are of no relevance.
The ending was quick, it was brutal and it was definitive—Pettis convincingly earned his belt at UFC 164.
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