December 16, 2010 – nearly every MMA fan can tell you exactly where they were and who they were with that fateful night when Anthony Pettis (pictured) landed his unforgettable “Showtime Kick” on Benson Henderson to win the WEC lightweight title.
Much has transpired for both fighters in the past three years. Henderson went on to capture the UFC lightweight crown and successfully defend it three times, while Pettis will be sniffing his first championship affair in the black Octagon when he challenges Henderson for his throne at UFC 164.
However, no matter what goes down August 31, Henderson and Pettis will forever be linked in MMA history.
Despite the fact the UFC has replayed the highlight reel about a zillion times by now, Henderson claims he’s pretty much put the “Showtime Kick” in his rear-view mirror.
“That’s the way life goes sometimes,” Henderson said Tuesday of the sensational strike. “You prepare yourself, prepare yourself, get ready – have weeks and weeks and months and years of preparation to get ready for what? For one moment. Hopefully, you don’t falter during that moment. For me, the whole fight – pretty close fight. I think on all the judges’ scorecards, you look back, they had it tied up 2-2 going into the 5thRound. Anthony let it all out, landed a pretty cool kick and ever since I’ve been working to redeem myself.
“For me, winning the [UFC] belt, beating up the next guy, beating up the guy after that, beating up the guy after that – that to me was redeeming myself. Working past that one moment in my life, making other great, spectacular moments … that’s what helps [to put it behind me].”
One might think Pettis has the “Showtime Kick” permanently looping on his TV, as the wallpaper on his laptop and lockscreen on iPhone, but he too has distanced himself from the shot nobody will ever allow either athlete to forget. After all, it’s Henderson who has hoisted the UFC hardware on four occasions.
“It’s one of them things, I’m not gonna live off it,” Pettis said of his kick. “It happened. We’re past it, two years, three years later, I gotta fight him again and be the champ. So, even if I landed that kick I’m still not the champ. So, I still got a lot to prove and I’ve got a lot to work for.”
UFC 164 goes down in Pettis’ backyard at Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.