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UFC Nashville: MMA fighters predict Stephen Thompson vs. Anthony Pettis

Notable MMA fighters break down the highly-technical striking matchup between Stephen Thompson and Anthony Pettis at UFC Nashville.

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The main event of UFC Nashville presents a lot of interesting questions and a number of MMA fighters are weighing in on Stephen Thompson vs. Anthony Pettis.

Professional mixed martial artists from various organizations break down the UFC Nashville headliner and give their predictions in the new SBN MMA series Fighters Pick Fights.

The full anaylsis — featuring Santiago Ponzinibbio, Volkan Oezdemir, Jon Fitch, Elias Theodorou, Beneil Dariush, Drew Dober, Kajan Johnson, Frankie Saenz and Jordan Rinaldi — can be watched in the video above. Continue reading below for quotes from several of the video’s notable fighters.

Santiago Ponzinibbio: I think it’s a good fight and match for Thompson. I don’t think 155-Pettis is a challenge for 170-pound Thompson. I don’t think Pettis can put a lot pressure on Thompson. I think Thompson has a big chance to finish.

Jon Fitch: The size difference I think is going to be the overwhelming factor in the fight. Anthony Pettis has fought at 145. It doesn’t seem like a smart move. How much time did he take to put on the 10 or 15 pounds needed to move up? He is fighting a bigger guy at a higher weight class. It doesn’t seem like it is going to end well for Pettis.

Volkan Oezdemir: This fight will actually be hard to predict. They are two people whose styles I love. Pettis was someone who I really liked to watch back in the day. It’s really amazing to see all the tricks he has and the way he fights. Thompson is very hard to deal with. I don’t know what Pettis’ game plan is, but I still see him getting the win.

Elias Theodorou: This is a very good fight. Both fighters come with similar striking styles. I think the size makes the biggest difference in this fight. Thompson isn’t necessarily the largest, but 170 is 170. We’ve all seen Anthony pull off amazing things, but will he be able to overcome that size difference and that persistence that “Wonderboy” possesses. Or this could be a fight where they just bounce in front of each other.

UFC Nashville takes place at Bridgestone Arena in Tennessee on Saturday, March 23. Curtis Blaydes meets Justin Willis in the heavyweight co-main event.

[Author’s note: some of these quotes have been condensed for clarity]