ROUNDTABLE: Is ‘Showtime’ back or was it a lucky punch?

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Mar 23, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Anthony Pettis (blue gloves) defeats Stephen Thompson (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

What do you make of Anthony Pettis’ win over Stephen Thompson? Is Pettis back to form or have Thompson’s skills diminished?

Christian Moore, MMATorch Contributor

I don’t think either was the case. It seems that whenever Anthony Pettis wins, there is always the debate of “Is Showtime Back?” yet he never is. It was a lucky shot in my mind. A well-placed shot, and a powerful shot, but a shot that Thompson should’ve avoided. So no, Pettis isn’t back to form, but I also don’t think Thompson’s skills have diminished. They are fading, but they are still there.

Sean Covington, Columnist – Covington’s Corner

Really a shame that Stephen Thompson fell off so quickly, once a rising star in the UFC. His skills are gone and he needs to change camps, and promotions or change careers. I just think that Thompson got exposed by Woodley and he was never really as good as we thought. Thompson came out of nowhere to me and seemed liked the next big thing but once he lost to Woodley he peaked.

As for Anthony Pettis, he won’t be back on top of any division again. This win was pretty meaningless in my opinion.

Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I think Pettis was just able to summon up the magic one more time. I don’t think he’s back, though that would be a great story, and I don’t think Thompson is done or anything like that. I think it’s just a case of right place at the right time. That Superman punch from Pettis was so perfect that it would have felled anyone. Before that, Thompson was squarely in command and Pettis wasn’t looking all that great. This just shows that Pettis is dangerous and you have to assume he can catch you at any moment. It’s a great win for Pettis but I don’t think we can extrapolate anything from it.


Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor

I think that much like what happened to Lyoto Machida nearly a decade ago, fighters have solved the Stephen Thompson puzzle. Thompson relies heavily on a counter game, and that kind of strategy plays out best when a fighter is behaving predictably. What Pettis did was catch Thompson completely off guard with that Superman punch. There was no way he could counter it since he didn’t even see it coming. I’d like to say the old Anthony Pettis has returned but I think we’ll look back on this fight as the moment we realized Stephen Thompson was no longer a top-level welterweight.


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