Las Vegas, Nevada – Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis is promising sparks will fly in his trilogy showdown with longtime rival Benson Henderson in Las Vegas next week when the pair run things back for a third time in the main event of Karate Combat 43 at the Market Expo Center, Las Vegas on Friday, December 15th.
“I have nothing but respect for Ben as a man, as an opponent and an athlete. He’s accomplished some amazing things and he’s still very high level. But speaking for myself as a competitor, I am going to go out there on December 15th in Las Vegas and try to take his head off,” says Pettis.
“Every time I fight, it’s showtime! I’m not going to predict a knockout but that’s certainly what I am looking for. Like I say, I respect him tremendously as a person and as an athlete, but this is a competition and it’s him or me. I’m not going to be too cocky or too confident out there, but I am going to fight my fight and try and have fun on the way to getting my hand raised.
“I think this fight favors the knockout just because Karate Combat rules are almost all striking. You can take your guy down but there’s only five seconds on the floor so it’s really a striking fight. I can leverage my background in Taekwondo and use a whole bunch of techniques I couldn’t really use in MMA.”
Famed for debuting ‘The Showtime Kick’ in his 2010 first encounter with Henderson – a leaping kick off the cage wall which stunned viewers and went viral worldwide – Pettis has built a replica Karate Combat pit wall in his Las Vegas gym and says fans “can expect to see a Pit Kick on December 15th, if the opportunity presents itself.”
Karate Combat president Asim Zaidi said, “Anthony Pettis was top of my list when I went looking for a headliner for our Las Vegas event on December 15th. He’s got an explosive all-action fighting style and the kind of creative striking repertoire which makes him a perfect fit for Karate Combat. When Benson Henderson became available the trilogy match was an obvious fight to make. Both fighters are fired up and I think we’re going to see something special in The Pit on fight night.”
Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and now based in Las Vegas, Pettis has been coached throughout his career by renowned striking coach Duke Roufus and has a notably dynamic fighting style.
The former UFC lightweight champion has beaten some of the biggest names in the fight game and earlier this year made his professional debut in a victory of boxing Hall of Fame legend Roy Jones Jr. Pettis owns two wins over Henderson – one under the WEC banner and one in the UFC.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.