Anthony Pettis returned to form tonight at UFC 213 with a unanimous decision victory over Jim Miller in which he was able to show off both his striking and ground skills.
Miller with a low kick to start. Now he tags Pettis with a right hand too, then back to the leg, and those are visibly knocking his opponent off-balance.
Pettis looking to let his hands go now. Another short flurry for the former champion. leg kick again for Miller. Pettis with a head kick attempt that’s blocked.
Push kick for Pettis. Miller steps forward with a series of punches, but Pettis steps off to avoid that. Another low kick for Miller.
Body kick for Pettis. Right hand for Miller as Pettis comes in. Right connects for Pettis now. Body kick for Miller. Pettis returns soon after with one of his own. Now another for Pettis lands harder.
Now Pettis has Miller backed up against the cage and begins to tee off on him and that’s taking it’s toll on Miller, but he survives for now.
Pettis back again for more now and he’s landing accurate strikes as Miller tries to return fire. Hard kick for Pettis.
Beautiful spinning backfist for Pettis as he starts to get that pep back in his step that he’s been missing in recent fights. Miller looking more hesitant to engage now. He lands a low kick, but Pettis is trying to counter that now.
Miller with a right hand. He lands a body kick and Pettis throws a kick of his own. However, Miller lands a counter punch as the round comes to a close.
No sign of a ground game yet from Miller, but with Pettis starting to come on strong that’s got to be something he’ll be considering more seriously now.
Pettis with an early jab. Now a left hand gets through for Miller. Body kick for Miller. Miller looking for punches that don’t connect, but a leg kick along with it does.
Head kick attempt for Pettis misses. He tries it again and lands, but then Miller takes his leg out from under him and brings Pettis to the mat.
Pettis trying for a triangle choke, but Miller gets out. He’s bleeding significantly from a cut to his left eye though after that head kick a moment ago. Nonetheless, Miller is on top and working some ground and pound in Pettis’ guard.
Both fighters blood soaked now. Pettis scrambles to a turtle position and Miller takes his back. They are really slippery though with all that blood and Pettis is able to shake Miller off and then get on top himself.
Pettis in half guard and looking to pass. He decides to back away and lands a kick to his grounded opponent, then lands a couple of punches and goes back down into half guard.
Pettis moves to side control with about a minute to go. A few punches and knees from Pettis down here. Miller scrambles to his knees and now it’s Pettis who is taking his back.
However, Miller manages to get back up, but Pettis trips him to get his opponent back down in the final 10 seconds of the round.
Punch and a leg kick for Miller. Now another calf kick for Miller. A couple of straight lefts in quick succession for Miller, the n back to that calf kick.
Miller rushes in with a single right hand. Another leg kick as Pettis tries to counter. Head kick attempt from Pettis, but that one’s blocked.
Front kick upstairs from Pettis. leg kick for Pettis and an overhand counter from Miller. Body kick from Miller. Punches miss for Miller, but that helps disguise the kick behind it. Pettis does land a counter punch in their though.
A couple of leg kicks for Miller. Jab for Pettis. Miller ducks under a punch and goes for a takedown, but Pettis does well to stuff that and presses Miller up against the cage.
Pettis tries for a trip takedown, but Miller remains upright. Nice elbow in close from Miller. Knee to the body for Miller and a punch from Pettis.
Both men exchange knees and then break free. Pettis tries a cartwheel kick at close range that doesn’t really work out. Miller does a roll while reaching for a leg, but doesn’t get it.
Final seconds of the round and Miller tries a cartwheel kick that’s not really effective and then Pettis responds with a big kick upstairs.
Fun fight then and Miller made that competitive, but Pettis seemed to have his confidence back tonight and he deservedly emerges with a unanimous decision victory (30-27 x3).