SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/24: Stephen Thompson remembers nothing of Pettis fight, Pettis open to McGregor fight at 170, RDA open to rematch

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Mar 23, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Stephen Thompson (red gloves) is helped up after being knocked out by Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


Anthony Pettis returned to form in style last night in Nashville with a late second-round knockout of Stephen Thompson. It was the kind of explosive finish that UFC and fans were hoping for when “Wonderboy” and “Showtime” were matched up, although many thought it would Thompson who would bring the flash.

The finish came with a Superman punch from Pettis with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second round. The punch completely caught Thompson off guard and he was down for the count. The knockout was so bad and so unexpected that Thompson remembers little of the fight.

“I was piecing him up with the jab,” Thompson said during a Facebook live video (transcribed by MMAJunkie). “I was trying to break his arms with the roundhouse kick. I guess the side kicks, I switched over too much. His punches were slow. The heck? I don’t remember anything. Next thing I knew I was in the back wondering what happened.”

Thompson was sure to give Pettis his props though for the performance, and he did so in true “Wonderboy” fashion.

“Golly. Superman off the cage. It was so ninja I didn’t even see it coming.”

Keeping good company

Anthony Pettis joined a rare group of fighter who have won fights at 145, 155, and 170 pounds in the UFC. The first man to do so was Kenny Florian, the next, of course, was Conor McGregor.

ESPN’s Greg Rosenstein pointed out the fun fact, and McGregor took notice.

“Welcome to the club and congratulations,” McGregor tweeted. Now who f-ing wants it?”

While not necessarily a direct all out of Pettis (or Florian for that matter) it did get the conversation going, and you may be shocked to hear that Pettis would be interested in fighting McGregor.

“That’s a fun fight,” Pettis told MMAJunkie. “(He’s) another guy that I love his style, another guy that’s going to be a fun style to fight. If he wants to do it, let’s do it. I’m not afraid to fight anybody.”

While the McGregor fight is unlikely at best, one thing we learned last night is that one punch can change everything.

Sunday Notebook

-Rafael dos Anjos answered Anthony Pettis’ callout from his post-fight interview last night tweeting “I’ll take care of (Kevin) Lee first then I’ll see you Pettis. Great win btw.”

-On last night’s post-fight show on ESPN+, Dana White said that Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes is the likely fight to crown a new bantamweight champion after TJ Dillashaw relinquished his title last week.

-Post-fight bonuses went to Anthony Pettis and Randa Markos for Performance of the Night and to Bryce Mitchell and Bobby Moffett for Fight of the Night.

-Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov is set for UFC 238 on June 8 from Chicago.

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Pettis post-fight interview

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