Dana White was full of praise for Anthony Pettis on Saturday night after watching him knockout Stephen Thompson in his welterweight debut in the main event of UFC Fight Night 148.
“Pettis was a +385 underdog, huge underdog. I loved his gameplan from the beginning,” White said post-fight. “I’m assuming — I don’t know this — [coach] Duke Roufus studied ‘Wonderboy’ and the way that he jumps with his karate movement, it’s hard to block leg kicks, so he started busting up the legs early, both legs, on the outside, on the inside, to try to slow him down so he could punch with him.
“Think about this,” White continued, “Anthony Pettis, who was 155 and moved up to 170, was able to do what [Tyron Woodley] couldn’t do twice. I mean, that’s pretty impressive. And I’m not ragging on Tyron, which is going to be the thing that comes out of this, but what Pettis did tonight is unbelievable against a bigger [opponent]. Look at the size difference with these two tonight.”
Pettis has indicated he’d like to fight Rafael dos Anjos at 170lbs and he’s also signalled his interest in fighting Conor McGregor in addition to other unfinished business at lightweight, so there appears to be plenty of options available to him after a high-profile win like this.
“Listen, I like any matchup for him after what he did tonight,” White said. “Very impressive. A very impressive gameplan. He came in, he executed. ‘Wonderboy’ was busting him up in the first round, the second round. He kept his composure, stuck to [what] I’m assuming was the gameplan — I don’t know that — but he looked damn good tonight.”