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UFC Nashville: Anthony Pettis reflects on his career and looks to the future

(Courtesy of ESPN MMA)

ESPN MMA reporter Brett Okamoto sits down with Anthony “Showtime” Pettis ahead of his fight against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC Fight Night in Nashville.

Pettis discusses making his debut in WEC, jumping to the UFC, his quick path to gaining fame and going pro, the origin of the famous “Showtime kick” at WEC 53 when he defeated Benson Henderson, winning the UFC lightweight belt in his hometown of Milwaukee, and how he has developed from his early days to now.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor rips into TJ Dillashaw over drug test that forced him to give up the UFC belt


Tune in Saturday, March 23, for full UFC on ESPN+ 6: Thompson vs. Pettis live results on MMAWeekly.com. The first bout is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.

Sticking to the game plan key for Valerie Soto at LFA 62

Following a successful two year run in the amateur ranks that saw her pick up a XKO championship, strawweight Valerie Soto has managed to transition to the pro ranks with mostly the same success. Since turning pro in August of 2018, Soto has picked up two wins in three bouts, both by unanimous decision. “I think it’s just an amazing experience to get out there and do the same thing as always, but I tested myself multiple times now (as a pro) and it’s really fun,” Soto told MMAWeekly.com. “I feel like it’s a little different. I’ve grown a lot in this sport and I’m going to keep growing and getting better. “It’s more intense going five minute rounds, but at as an amateur I was a strawweight champ, so I would go three, five-minute, rounds, so it helped out a lot. My cardio is great. I’ve never had a problem with that. I’ve gotten to test that as a pro to see how great my cardio is, and it’s still going and I don’t get tired.” While some aspects of her game have translated to the pro ranks from the amateurs, Soto does admit that her full game has yet to show itself in a fight, but it’s getting better. “With certain fights I feel like I hold back or do stuff that I’m not able to do that I’m able to do in the gym, but slowly I’m progressing and I’m letting everything go, and I’m putting stuff together in my fights,” said Soto. “It’s progress in slowly getting comfortable with (everything). And I’m adding a lot of new weapons to my fighting style.” TRENDING > UFC strikes landmark pay-per-view deal with ESPN, extends broadcast deal through 2025 At LFA 62 on March 22 in Dallas, Texas, Soto (2-1) will look to pick up her second win in a row when she faces Vanessa Demopoulos (1-1) in a main card 155-pound match-up. “It’s going to be striker versus grappler,” said Soto of facing Demopoulos. “I believe she’s tough, and I know she believes that I’m tough as well. “Everything I have to do, I just have to lookout for whatever she’s going to do; whether she’s going to try to strike with me or try to take me down, I’ve got to keep my distance and work my game plan, and hopefully come out with the win.” When it comes to the remainder of 2019, Soto wants to just focus on fighting and let the opportunities come to her. “I take it fight by fight and do whatever my coaches tell me to do,” said Soto.

Tyron Woodley calls out Conor McGregor

Tyron Woodley vs Conor McGregor

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After losing the UFC welterweight belt to Kamaru Usman, Tyron Woodley isn’t sure what’s next for him. He hasn’t been promised an immediate rematch, so his next fight is currently undecided, but he didn’t have a problem telling TMZ Sports what he thought might be a good next match-up. He called out Conor McGregor.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor rips into TJ Dillashaw over drug test that forced him to give up the UFC belt

After laying some heavy criticism on McGregor’s thoughts for a next opponent, Woodley said that the Irishman should “quit being a b–ch” and fight him next.

UFC Nashville top 5 finishes

(Courtesy of UFC)

Check out a list of the top 5 performances from fighters on the Fight Night Nashville card on Saturday featuring Anthony Pettis and Stephen Thompson. Pettis and Thompson headline the 12-fight card at Bridgestone Arena.

TRENDING > UFC Events Pick Em Contest: Can Anthony Pettis find his mojo against Stephen Thompson?


Tune in Saturday, March 23, for full UFC on ESPN+ 6: Thompson vs. Pettis live results on MMAWeekly.com. The first bout is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.

Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson wants to beat Anthony Pettis then headline UFC debut in South Carolina

Stephen Thompson arm raised by John McCarthy

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson has been anxiously awaiting his opportunity to return while searching for opponents since late last year.

Unfortunately the former two-time title contender didn’t get booked until the UFC Fight Night card in Nashville on Saturday night where he will face former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in the main event.

As frustrating as it was trying to find somebody willing to step up to face him, Thompson was ultimately satisfied that Pettis was ready for the challenge.

In the weeks leading to the fight, the UFC also announced another card coming up in June that is scheduled to take place in Greenville, South Carolina, which just so happens to be Thompson’s backyard.

So as much as Thompson is competing to get a win on Saturday night and hopefully put his name back in title contention at 170 pounds, the chance to fight at home might be the best motivation of all.

“How can you come to my hometown and not have me on that card? That’s the plan,” Thompson told MMAWeekly. “I hope to go out there and to pray for a good fight but a healthy fight. Hopefully me and Anthony will come away unscathed or healthy after the fight but that’s the plan. If the UFC is coming to my hometown, I better be on the card. So hopefully everybody will be seeing me on that card. Hopefully, headlining it. Not sure who yet but hopefully we’ll figure it out after this fight.

TRENDING > Stephen Thompson: ‘I expect some straight-up ninja stuff’ from Anthony Pettis

“I’ve got one focus right now and that’s Anthony Pettis but if you’re coming to Greenville, the UFC better have me on that card. Heck yeah, that’s motivating. I’m ready to go out there and put on a show.”

While Thompson has traveled at times for his training camps, he has always primarily called South Carolina his home where he teaches and works out of his family’s Upstate Karate in Simpson.

Now he hopes to headline the first ever UFC card in South Carolina and the only way to ensure that spot is to defeat Pettis on Saturday night in Nashville.

UFC Nashville: Thompson vs. Pettis weigh-in face-offs

(Courtesy of UFC)

Following Friday’s official weigh-in, the fighters competing on the UFC on ESPN+ 6 fight card faced off with their opponents.

UFC on ESPN+ 6: Thompson vs. Pettis lands in Music City for a fiery welterweight showdown. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis are each looking to make a statement as the UFC makes its way back to Nashville, Tenn.

RELATED > UFC Nashville weigh-in results: One fighter misses weight

The UFC on ESPN+ 6 co-main event features heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Justin Willis, who are trying to crash into title talk.

UFC on ESPN+ 6 takes place on Saturday, March 23, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

UFC Nashville weigh-in results: One fighter misses weight

Stephen Thompson

UFC on ESPN+ 6: Thompson vs. Pettis lands in Music City for a fiery welterweight showdown. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis are each looking to make a statement as the UFC makes its way back to Nashville, Tenn.

On Friday, the 24 athletes competing on the fight card officially weighed in with one fighter missing the mark.  Luiz Pena tipped the scales 2.5 pounds heavy for his featherweight bout against Steven Peterson.

Thompson is a two-time welterweight championship challenger, but was unsuccessful in taking the belt away from Tyron Woodley. Now that Kamaru Usman holds the belt, however, Thompson sees a clear path to another title shot in his future, but he’ll have to get through Pettis to make it happen.

As a former UFC and WEC lightweight champion, Pettis is making his promotional welterweight debut in Nashville, looking to knock off Thompson and get his mojo back as he seeks a belt in a new weight class.

The UFC on ESPN+ 6 co-main event features heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Justin Willis, who are trying to crash into title talk.

UFC on ESPN+ 6 takes place on Saturday, March 23, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

UFC on ESPN+ 6: Thompson vs. Pettis Weigh-in Results

Main Card (8 p.m. ET on ESPN+)

  • Stephen Thompson (170.5) vs. Anthony Pettis (171)
  • Curtis Blaydes (262) vs. Justin Willis (266)
  • John Makdessi (154) vs. Jesus Pinedo (155.5)
  • Jussier Formiga (126) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (126)
  • Luis Peña (148.5) vs. Steven Peterson (146)
  • Maycee Barber (126) vs. JJ Aldrich (125)

Prelims (5 p.m. ET on ESPN+) 

  • Bryce Mitchell (145.5) vs. Bobby Moffett (145.5)
  • Frankie Saenz (135.5) vs. Marlon Vera (135.5)
  • Alexis Davis (125) vs. Jennifer Maia (126)
  • Randa Markos (116) vs. Angela Hill (116)
  • Ryan MacDonald (135.5) vs. Chris Gutierrez (135.5)
  • Eric Shelton (126) vs. Jordan Espinosa (126)

UFC Nashville weigh-in video: Thompson vs. Pettis set, but one fighter off the mark

Anthony Pettis UFC Nashville weigh-in

(Courtesy of UFC)

Watch as the fighters for Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 6 stepped on the scale on Friday in Nashville, Tenn., to make their bouts official. 

The card is topped by Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, who welcomes former lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis to the 170-pound weight class. Before their headlining showdown, heavyweight contenders Curtis Blaydes and Justin Willis throw down to determine who will remain in the hunt for UFC champion Daniel Cormier.

TRENDING > Tyron Woodley calls out Conor McGregor


Tune in Saturday, March 23, for full UFC on ESPN+ 6: Thompson vs. Pettis live results on MMAWeekly.com. The first bout is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.

UFC Nashville Odds: Can Anthony Pettis upset Wonderboy and a run at welterweight?

Anthony Pettis and Stephen Thompson wanna bet

Top welterweight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson headlines UFC on ESPN+ 6 on Saturday, where he is tasked with welcoming former lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis to the 170-pound division in Nashville, Tenn.

Thompson is a two-time former challenger to Tyron Woodley, but failed to wrest the belt from him on either occasion. But now that Kamaru Usman has taken the belt from Woodley, Thompson sees the opportunity to make a quick return to title contention, and that begins with Pettis.

Showtime, however, believes that he has a similar opportunity

Pettis is making his UFC welterweight debut in Nashville, but he has a lengthy championship pedigree, having been a former UFC and WEC lightweight champion. Having been to the top of the mountain at 155 pounds, Pettis believes he has a short run to get into welterweight title contention, especially if he defeats someone the caliber of Thompson.

Oddsmakers don’t seem to think Pettis is going to make the run he’s hoping for, however. As of Friday, Thompson was heavily favored to defeat Pettis, according to MMAWeekly.com odds partner MyBookie. Thompson was sitting at -340, while the line had Pettis at +280. (Use the promo code MMAWEEKLY to get a 50-percent sign-up bonus at MyBookie.)

That means a $340 wager on Thompson would produce winnings of $100 should he win the fight. If Pettis can upset Thompson, a $100 bet would mean winnings of $280.

The UFC on ESPN+ 6 co-main event is a little bit tighter, but Curtis Blaydes is still a -260 favorite to Justin Willis’s +200 in their heavyweight contest.

UFC on ESPN+ 6: Thompson vs. Pettis Betting Lines

(as of March 22, 2018, courtesy of MyBookie)

  • Stephen Thompson: -340 vs. Anthony Pettis: +280
  • Curtis Blaydes: -260 vs. Justin Willis: +200

If you’d like to take a closer look at the UFC Nashville lines and prop bets or any of the other MyBookie lines, be sure to use the promo code MMAWEEKLY if you sign up to get your 50-percent sign-up bonus. 

Coach Discusses What’s Next For UFC ‘Champ Champ’ Amanda Nunes

UFC “Champ Champ” Amanda Nunes has numerous options for her next fight. “The Lioness” now has two belts to defend after downing Cris Cyborg for the 145-pound throne. When she does decide to return, however, Nunes says she’s looking for a date closer to the end of the year. Recently her coach and American Top […]

The post Coach Discusses What’s Next For UFC ‘Champ Champ’ Amanda Nunes appeared first on MMA News.