Anthony Pettis was a walking highlight reel during his time in the WEC. He famously landed the "showtime kick" against Ben Henderson in a moment that likely won him the last ever WEC lightweight championship and was set up to challenge the winner of Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar for the UFC lightweight crown. Edgar and Maynard battled to a draw and the course of Pettis' career was changed as he took a fight with Clay Guida rather than wait for the Edgar/Maynard situation to be resolved.
Guida did what Guida does and ground out a decision victory and derailed the title hopes of Pettis (at least in the immediate future).
Pettis rebounded this past weekend at UFC 136 with a split decision win over the very tough Jeremy Stephens. Many fans were left a little disappointed as Pettis utilized his wrestling much more than his explosive striking to earn the win on two of three judges cards. It was a fine strategy and a win is a win, but a video on UFC.com shows that Pettis isn't thrilled with just earning the "W":
I really wanted to focus on my wrestling and my top game against Jeremy and show everyone that I am well-rounded and that I do have wrestling. I think I did that, but I also think I could have done better. When you go to the UFC it's not all about 'showtime' kicking or knocking everybody out. Get people down, hold them down and you win fights.
I think it's a little inaccurate to say this is some function of "going to the UFC." You're fighting in front of the same judges with the same criteria in place. There is no rule of "UFC = hold them down to win." And, if anything, the rewards are bigger in the UFC to be exciting in an attempt to win some sort of fight night bonus.
But if this is something Anthony has in his mind, it may be something we see more of in his future bouts.
The sky remains the limit for Pettis though, and we'll just have to take it one fight at a time to see where he ends up.