Never underestimate your opponent. Is Anthony Pettis making this mistake against Josh Thomson? I think he is.
Pettis has recently proved how absolutely, disgustingly good he is at MMA. Pettis just won the belt off a first-round shellacking of Benson Henderson. Pettis landed four straight body kicks on the champion. I understand that this sounds a little mundane, but it was the same kick, four times in a row — against the UFC lightweight champion of the world.
That is not small detail to miss. He then was able to twist Henderson’s arm so hard that he had to verbally tap. It was a gut-check for anyone out there who still believed that Pettis was all hype.
Let’s not forget about Thomson. This guy came into the UFC taking a fight that it appeared no one else wanted to take. He fought Nate Diaz and knocked him out via head kick. It was the best Thomson we have ever seen; his timing was exact, his patience was amazing and he looked extremely comfortable in the biggest fight of his career.
Did he look good enough to beat Anthony Pettis? It depends, and that is what makes me nervous.
Pettis has always been an extremely confident fighter. So far, he has been able to back it up and has destroyed his competition, except for his first fight in the UFC. In that first fight, Pettis was riding an amazing wave of hype and was matched up against the biggest grinder the UFC lightweight division has ever seen: Clay Guida. Pettis underestimated his game and lost a decision.
This could very well happen again. Pettis finds himself with even more hype and he is against an even more dangerous opponent in Thomson, who will not take this fight for granted. He will hopefully come in completely focused and in phenomenal condition.
Will Pettis? That’s the big question mark. I hope so, but we have seen him falter once and we could always see it again.