Arguably the single most spectacular moment in an MMA cage in the last few years was when Anthony Pettis nailed the "Showtime kick" to clinch a decision over Benson Henderson and win the World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight title back on Dec. 16, 2010.
With seconds left in the fight Pettis ran toward a backpedaling Henderson, jumped into the cage, pushed off and flew, landing a kick to the side of Henderson's head and knocking him down. Not only was it one of the most memorable moments in MMA history, replayed to death on SportsCenter, but the fight was so close that the kick may have been the difference between winning and losing for Pettis, who became the final WEC champion.
The loss, in a fight that was even going into the final round, was Henderson's only defeat in his last 18 fights.
Since that time, Henderson (19-2) has won seven fights in a row, including two over Frankie Edgar, and has become the UFC lightweight king. Pettis was supposed to get a title shot at Edgar before Henderson, but he took a fight first and lost to Clay Guida.
After devastating Donald Cerrone on Jan. 26 in Chicago, Pettis was back in line for a title shot, but shocked everyone by asking Dana White for a shot at featherweight champion Jose Aldo instead. Pettis (16-2) claimed at the time his goal was to win both championships, and he wanted Aldo, who he claimed would be the tougher win first.
Then Pettis suffered a meniscus tear, eliminating him from his Aug. 3 title match with Aldo in Rio de Janeiro. He then campaigned for a shot at Henderson in a show four weeks later, saying he would be ready for the show in Milwaukee, his home city.
But Henderson vs. T.J. Grant was already on tap as the UFC 164 main event on Aug. 31 at the Bradley Center with Henderson going for his fourth title defense. But Dana White tweeted and confirmed Friday night that Grant had suffered an undisclosed injury and Pettis would be taking his place in the new title fight. MMA Junkie first reported the main event change.
"U can't stop destiny!!! Me and Henderson for the belt in my home town!!!!," wrote Pettis on Twitter.