As the old saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. One minute left in an even fifth round of the most important fight of your life, tied two rounds to two rounds on the scorecards with your opponent -- how much more desperate of a situation can you ask for?
Anthony Pettis was christened with the nickname "Showtime" for the flashy nature of his fighting style. So, realistically, what else could have happened?
"Showtime Kick. I call it the Showtime Kick." Pettis remarked after Thursday night's WEC event.
Busting out one of the craziest moves in MMA history to win the last WEC Lightweight Championship and No. 1 contender status in the UFC? That sounds right up Pettis' alley. The UFC lightweight division better prepare themselves for the new kid in school.
Pulling off something like that in training is one thing, but how does a professional fighter somehow find the balls to execute it in a title fight against world class competition?
"The biggest thing going through my mind was: go for it." Pettis explained. "I kept thinking, ‘Man I've got to do something to land.' He was checking all my low kicks and I couldn't get off. He kept stopping with one or two punches, so I'm like, ‘I've got to do something out of the box and see what happens.'"
We practice it in camp, but to do it a title fight -- in the last round -- it's something different." Pettis continued. "Luckily for me, the kick landed, and it was an impressive kick."
Lost amongst the raucous nature of the closing moments of the WEC -- which, honestly, could not have been more fitting for an organization that has always prided itself for putting on the most exciting cards in the business -- was the fact that it came at the expense of one of the nicest men in MMA.
Ben Henderson, the man who championed Arizona's cause in order to get an event held here in Phoenix, was visibly shaken during the press conference, almost reaching the point of tears several times. Still, the former champion -- who certainly has a bright future in the UFC -- took everything in stride and even made light of the situation.
When asked if he had ever seen anything like it, Henderson quipped, "I saw it on Mortal Kombat once." He finished, "I don't really remember it. It was a great kick. It will probably be a highlight reel for a while, huh?"