After Anthony Pettis lost his UFC debut to Clay Guida and only eked out a Split Decision over Jeremy Stephens in his follow-up appearance, fans began questioning whether “Showtime” would ever live up to the hype he entered the promotion with thanks in large part to a spectacular WEC win against Benson Henderson featuring a memorable off-the-cage- kick. Pettis answered any critics last night at UFC 144 by flattening opponent Joe Lauzon with a head-kick less than 90 seconds into their main card clash.
Pettis’ performance was rewarded with Knockout of the Night honors in addition to a $65,000 check for the award.
If Pettis started the PPV out on a pitch-perfect note, headlining lightweights Henderson and Frankie Edgar closed it out with equal excellence after the two talented 155ers went at it for 25 minutes in a highly entertaining affair. Though Henderson will head back to the United States with the divisional belt, each man will also have an extra $65,000 to contend with after their collective work was named Fight of the Night.
Last but not least, British finisher Vaughan Lee fended off an early surge from opponent Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto to procure a fight-ending Armbar. Not only was it the biggest win of the relative newcomer’s career but also earned him the largest payday he’s seen in MMA assisted in large part by the $65,000 his Submission of the Night showing brought in.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC