UFC 136 Results: Anthony Pettis Wins Nail Biter over Jeremy Stephens
Lightweight striking specialists Anthony Pettis and Jeremy Stephens were picked to kick of the Spike TV portion of the preliminary card.
Pettis, the final WEC champion, looked to bounce back from a decision loss to Clay Guida in his UFC debut. The loss cost the Duke Roufus trained fighter a title shot.
The heavy-handed Stephens has won four of his last five fights. During that stretch, he’s picked three “of the night” bonuses.
Wasting no time, the fighters both threw combinations to start the fight. Stephens pushed forward looking for a big shot with his right hand. Stephens scored with a takedown. Pettis raised his hips and pushed Stephens away and returned to the feet. Pettis landed a right hand the backed up Stephens. The fighters traded inside leg kicks. Stephens pushed Pettis against the fence and clinched. Stephens worked hard for a takedown and scooped him to the mat. Pettis regained his footing. Stephens landed a big right hand near the end of the round.
Stephens opened the middle round with an overhand right that missed. The pair traded inside. Pettis scored a takedown of his own. Pettis moved to side control against the fence, but Stephens recovered his guard. Pettis worked to mount briefly, but Stephens regained his guard again. Stephens worked back to his feet. Pettis secured a body lock from behind and again took the fight to the mat. Stephens stood, but was dumped a third time. Stephens managed to stand, but Pettis took his back and locked in a body triangle. Pettis worked for the rear-naked choke, but Stephens escaped as the round finished.
Stephens flurried and scored a takedown early in the final frame. Pettis looked for a triangle choke, but Stephens postured up and stood. Pettis looked for a takedown of his own, but Stephens landed on top. Pettis looked for an armbar and then swept to get on top. Against the fence, Pettis tripped Stephens to the mat. They returned to the feet and Stephens looked for a hip toss, but Pettis used a whizzer to defend. Another takedown scored from Pettis, but he could not keep the fight on the ground. Stephens briefly took Pettis’ back, but Pettis easily escaped. Stephens worked for a takedown as the fight wound to a close.
Two of the three judges’ scorecards gave the nod to the former WEC champ Pettis. The win is his first in the Octagon.
Official Result: Anthony Pettis def. Jeremy Stephens by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
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Rob Tatum is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. You can also find Rob’s work at TheMMACorner.com. For anything related to MMA, you can follow Rob on Twitter @RobTatumMMA.
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