Not a day has passed since the "hype train" of Anthony Pettis came to a screeching halt, and the passengers are not happy. They came out in droves to slay the evil caveman who removed the tracks from the front of the train. One barb after another trying to discredit what was a clear cut win for the one they call the Carpenter. The fight consisted of Guida taking Pettis down and fending of sloppy submission attempts while trying to pass guard. Sure, it wasn't the FOTY that Guida vs Sanchez was, but then again very few ever will be. There is one lingering question remaining, why did Pettis get a train on the tracks to begin with?
For years the WEC belt was nothing more than an indication that a fighter was not good enough to make it to the UFC. During the reign of Jamie Varner there was never any word of a possible super fight between him and the then champion BJ Penn. Varner was written off as the champion of the lower tier promotion, and Ben Henderson also came and with without so much as a peep of UFC caliber hype. Pettis works like a dog through out a hard fought fight with Henderson and was just another WEC light weight to hold the second tier title, that was until he jumped off the cage and landed a kick that sent Henerson to the mat.
After the kick the MMA community blew up and Pettis was the next coming in light weight. Its funny how a above average fighter (not quite elite yet) can go from a fringe top 10 fighter, to the future champ with just one kick.That is the nature of MMA fans, we are a back stabbing creature, ready to sell out our current favorite for the next big thing. When Pettis jumped off that cage and landed that kick he just became the most luxurious bang wagon to get on.
This isn't the first time a bang wagon/hype train was jumped on and then led to a halt then an explosion. Think back to 2007. Fresh off his win over ultimate fighter 1 winner Forrest Griffin, Keith Jardine stepped into the cage against an unknown, yet very scarey looking, Huston Alexander. 48 seconds and one face planted Dean of Mean later and the hype train was off and rolling. A quick look here will show you the end destination of that train.
Pettis has more skill, and better capabilities to get further in his career than Alexander, but the hype train was built on the same foundation. Hype is build off of highlights and other pieces of what a fighter does, yet ignoring the larger scape of what the fighter has accomplished. Pettis walked into the fight with Guida only ever facing one fighter that is on Guida's level, that being the man he matrix kicked in the face.
Jon Jones had a hype train constructed for him, but the difference being his was built on winning fights in am impressive manner and also he never let the hype get to his head. Pettis had hs train rolling due to one single kick. If that fight had ended and Pettis got a decision without the kick than he would have been that WEC guy with a belt.
Truth is Pettis isn't ready for the UFC's best, nor should he be expected to be. Pettis would get tore up by Edgar, Maynard, Miller, and Gillard will give him trouble. MMA fans also hate to see their fighter lose, hell look up one dude on youtube who still thinks Gomi is still the best light weight out there. Hype trains are something common in this sport and with this one derailed its just a matter of time before another one is put on the tracks aimed for no where. Like in the past fans will come out in droves with their gifs and witty replies to try and defend the train they are riding and why when the fighter becomes champion everyone who doubted will be eating a healthy meal of crow. The truth of the matter is was Huston ever really that good or was he a bad style match up for Jardine? Is Pettis any good or did he hit the MMA lottery with a fence kick? Well one question is already answered, while the other remains to be seen.