Anthony Pettis, having lost his UFC lightweight belt and his last 3 fights overall, came into this UFC on FOX 21 co-main event in must-win mode. "Showtime" made his featherweight debut against top 10 ranked Charles Oliveira, whose own move from 155 to 145 paid massive dividends for him.
Oliveira wasted no time pushing forward and going for the takedown, which Pettis defended well for over a minute. Pettis with a missed strike, leading to an Oliveira tie-up, and back to the fence. Pettis had his back taken with Oliveira dragging Pettis to the mat. Pettis calmly worked his way to top position, in Oliveira's guard. Oliveira went for a triangle and then an arm but to no avail. Big body kicks rock Oliveira and down he went. Pettis going for the finish as Oliveira throws his legs up looking for a submission while hurt. Huge shots by the former champion, now in side control. Oliveira scrambled and got out of a bad spot. He went for Pettis' back again but Oliveira couldn't get it and ate more huge shots and calmly ate the upkick. Great round with Oliveira aggressively going for submissions, but it was a definite Pettis round.
Oliveira came out throwing kicks in the 2nd round. Pettis made sure his back didn't get taken in an early scramble and implored Oliveira to get back to his feet. Stiff right hand by Pettis. Oliveira slipped to his back and Pettis again had him stand up. Do Bronx with a couple of quality punches and body kicks of his own. Oliveira pushing forward and tagging Pettis. The right hand continued to be a money punch for Pettis. Once again Oliveira went for back mount at the midway point of round 2. He jumped to take the back and dragged Pettis down. Full body triangle for the Brazilian. Oliveira attacked the neck but Pettis defended well. Beautiful sweep by Pettis and then Oliveira threw up a triangle which Pettis slipped out of. A better round for Oliveira but still taking some major shots. Spinning back kick to the body by Pettis. Oliveira hit with a 1-2. Oliveira with a takedown to end the 2nd.
Takedown attempt by Oliveira inside of 20 seconds and Pettis is forced onto his back. Pettis going for an armbar but Oliveira avoids it. Oliveira swept again and Pettis had his right knee on Oliveira's arm. They scrambled, he got a hold of Oliveira's neck, and squeezed for the tap.