When Anthony Pettis superman punched Stephen Thompson unconscious on Saturday night, it was a surprise to everyone from the fans watching to UFC president Dana White.
While Pettis is by no means a slouch in the striking department, Thompson has been hit clean by Tyron Woodley and Darren Till — both bigger and stronger men than Pettis — and still remained awake. For Pettis to nail him and put him out was an ending to the fight that few saw coming.
Including, obviously, Thompson himself.
“I remember the first round very well and I don’t remember the second round very well,” Thompson said, speaking on MMAFighting’s The MMA Hour. “But, I remember going back to the corner and having his blood all over my chest. I’m looking and he’s leaking from his nose and I’m like ‘Man, did I break his nose?’ After that, it’s kind of blank. I literally come to in the back. I see Chris Weidman, I see my mom, I see my brother and I don’t remember being out in the cage or walking back or taking pictures with everybody. I don’t remember that at all.”
Indeed, Thompson acknowledges his previous battles have seen him hit by harder punches, and as such he’s unsure why Pettis’ blow was the one to put him out.
“I know I’ve been hit harder than that, I know Tyron has hit me harder that,” Thompson said. “Why did this punch affect me like it did? The only thing I can think of is it just being right on the money. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. I threw a sidekick that kind of glanced off him and put me in a bad position where my right foot was trailing to the outside of him, which put me closer to him. I know his back was to the cage, so all he had to do was lunge forward and, of course, when you’re throwing your punch with your whole body behind it, it makes it that much more powerful and the last three or four inches is where the power comes from. So, throwing that straight right down the pipe, that’s what did it.
“It took me a while to figure it out and go back and watch it. It didn’t look like it was that much. Especially after Tyron put me down and didn’t put me away. I’m sitting there thinking ‘Why was that?’ But, you know, it doesn’t have to take a gorilla of a punch to put you away. You put it right on the spot and that’s all it takes.”