There were many saying that Sergio Pettis was ready for the UFC heading into tonight's fight, and othing that happened in the cage is likely to make them rethink that opinion. Pettis only took fifty-one seconds to win the flyweight title with a TKO of Dillard Pegg.
There's not a lot to say about the fight, really. Pettis came out and was able to find his rhythm right away and launched a straight right that dropped Pegg before following him to the ground and ending it.
Pettis is only 19 so there's no rush to bring him to the UFC, but I've been given the impression that they're antsy to get him in the fold and start promoting him. He is going to grow out of flyweight within a year though, most likely.
Palmer came in as a heavy favorite, over -1000 in some places, but Downing made him work all night, scoring some decent little punches and mixing in takedowns that weren't exactly expected given Palmer's status as a four-time state champion wrestler in high school and four-time All-American at Ohio State University. Palmer, a Team Alpha Male fighter, was attempting to mix in his striking but repeatedly landed low blows with leg kicks throughout the bout.
Finally, with mere seconds left in the fight, Palmer landed another low blow and had a point deducted. On both the AXS broadcast scorecard and my unofficial scorecard, that point deduction left the fight a 47-47 draw.
Unfortunately for Downing, two of the judges only felt he won a single round, scoring the fight 48-46 (four rounds to one plus a point deduction) for Palmer. The other judge did see the fight 48-46 for Downing, but that was not enough to keep the belt from changing hands.
A win is a win and all, but this was a performance that probably will have some pumping the breaks on the Palmer hype train. He's been called arguably the best prospect in the sport and that led to him coming in as a massive favorite in what turned out to be a very tough fight.
Outside of the night's featured bouts, the one man who stood out as a potential force down the road was Pedro Munhoz who scored a first round guillotine choke win over Mitch Jackson. Munhoz is a very complete looking fighter and he just outclassed Jackson. Jackson isn't a stud or anything, but he's a good enough fighter that Munhoz's handling of him says a fair amount about his skills.
"Biggie" Rhodes also got back in the win column with a big TKO of Benjamin Smith.
Sergio Pettis stops Dillard "Joe" Pegg
Zak Ottow submits Matt Gauthier with an arm triangle
Jose Pacheco misses a capoeira kick in fight with Dan Moret. Moret won by unanimous decision:
Biggie Rhodes knocks out Benjamin Smith
Pedro Munhoz submits Mitch Jackson
Night's full results:
Sergio Pettis vs. Dillard Pegg - Sergio Pettis wins by TKO, round 1.
Jared Downing vs. Lance Palmer - Lance Palmer wins by split decision. 46-48 Downing, 48-46 Palmer, 48-46 Downing.
Mike Rhodes vs. Benjamin Smith - Mike Rhodes wins by TKO, round 1.
Jose Pacheco vs. Dan Moret - Dan Moret wins by unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
James Barber vs. Chinzo Machida
Mitch Jackson vs. Pedro Munhoz - Pedro Munhoz wins by submission (guillotine choke), round 1.
Matt Gauthier vs. Zak Ottow - Zak Ottow wins by submission (arm triangle), round 1.