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UFC Fight Night 148 Betting Preview: Does Anthony Pettis have a Shot vs. Stephen Thompson?

Mar 22, 2019 2:40 PM EDT
Credit:

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Stephen Thompson (left), Anthony Pettis (right).

UFC Fight Night 148 betting odds: Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson vs. Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis

  • Stephen Thompson -380
  • Anthony Pettis +290
  • Channel: ESPN+
  • Time: Approx. 10:00 p.m. ET

The UFC travels to Nashville, Tennessee this weekend for the latest fight night on ESPN+.

No. 3 welterweight contender Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson will face off with No. 8 lightweight Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis, who will be making his UFC debut at 170 pounds.

Pettis deserves plenty of respect as a former UFC lightweight champion, but things haven’t been great in recent years. Showtime started his UFC career by winning five of six fights inside the octagon, but he’s since lost six of nine fights dating back to 2015.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for an active welterweight contender to decisively defeat Thompson. His only career losses came to Matt Brown in 2012, Tyron Woodley in 2017 and Darren Till in 2018. The fight against Brown was a non-controversial unanimous decision victory, but media members preferred Thompson in both of the other closely-contested matches (per MMAdecisions.com).

Thompson carries fairly significant size, striking and defensive advantages over Pettis. There’s little doubt that Showtime is the more-dangerous fighter on the ground, although six of his eight career takedowns in the UFC came during his second fight in the promotion against Jeremy Stephens.

Let’s break down each competitors path to victory ahead of Saturday night’s main event.

How Wonderboy can win

Thompson’s aforementioned statistical advantages can’t be overstated. He holds a 2-inch height and 3-inch reach advantage over Pettis, which will look even more pronounced come Saturday night thanks to Thompson’s long karate-style stance.

Standing up with Thompson has been a death sentence for nearly every fighter he has faced inside the Octagon. Wonderboy won a dizzying number of amateur and professional world championships as a kickboxer in the early 2000s before successfully making the switch to mixed martial arts.

This high-level world-class attack has enabled Thompson to rip off a number of impressive wins over:

  • Current middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (via first-round TKO)
  • Current Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald (via unanimous decision)
  • Current No. 5 welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal (via unanimous decision)
  • Former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks (via first-round TKO)
  • Long-time welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger (via first-round KO)
  • Former middleweight No. 1 contender Patrick Cote (via unanimous decision)

Wonderboy combines incredible footwork with a lethal array of kicks and punches that come from every angle. He’s a puzzle that has barely been solved after two decades of fighting at some of the highest levels of combat sports.

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