UFC officials could have their hands full on October 8 when it comes selecting a “Fight of the Night” winner after recently adding yet another rhubarb ripe with award-winning potential to the UFC 136 lineup. According to an official statement from the organization, human highlight reel Anthony Pettis and aggressive striker Jeremy Stephens have agreed to scrap at the fall stop in Houston, joining a card already featuring a handful of their divisional peers in similarly intriguing match-ups.
While Pettis and Stephens have never fought each other before they crossed paths in a manner of speaking last month at the Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale where the former faced top contender Clay Guida and the latter took on Pettis’ fellow Roufusport product Danny Downes.
The 24-year old Pettis was ultimately outpointed at the event by Guida after winning four straight in WEC, including a victory against Ben Henderson to become the promotion’s final 155-pound champion, before taking his talents to the Octagon. Nicknamed “Showtime” due to his exciting, energetic style of attack, Pettis holds an overall record of 13-2 with a near-even split between submission and strike-based wins including a knockout of Danny Castillo and choke of Shane Roller.
Stephens has emerged as one of the toughest draws at lightweight over the past few years, an opinion supported by success in four of his last five fights with the lone stumble coming by way of very close Split Decision to Melvin Guillard last September. The 3X “Knockout of the Night” winner has finished seventeen of the twenty opponents he’s beaten, fourteen via TKO, while racking up stoppages against Justin Buchholz, Marcus Davis, Rafael dos Anjos, and Cole Miller during his run in the UFC.
UFC 136 is headlined by a pair of title-fights with lightweight champ Frank Edgar putting his belt on the line against Gray Maynard in what will likely serve as the completion of their exciting trilogy and dynamic Brazilian Jose Aldo taking on seasoned veteran Ken Florian in featherweight action. Other notable pairings attached to the show include Guillard vs. Joe Lauzon, Demian Maia vs. Jorge Santiago, and Brian Stann vs. Chael Sonnen.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC