Written by: Evan Geis
When pondering over Tae Kwon Do and the UFC one name pops out. That fighter is no other then Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Pettis is based in Tae Kwon Do. This is not only rare in the UFC but, makes his kicks volatile. Pettis is known primarily for three kicks. Those are his rib smashing roundhouse kick, hid hidden over the top roundhouse, and of course his famed Showtime kick. Let’s take a deeper look into this kicking superstar.
Fist, we will start out with his kidney slaying roundhouse kick. Almost all fighters accommodate this kick into their arsenal but, none of them hit harder then Pettis’. Due to his years of Tae Kwon Do, he has augmented this kick to become a sledge hammer. His high flexibility and dexterity allows for him to change the height of his kicks making them a very real threat to his opponent. For example, in UFC on Fox 6 Anthony Pettis TKO Donald Cerrone with a single roundhouse kick to the liver, causing him to spiral to the ground. His roundhouse kick can either be a simple low kick to the knee, a rib cracker to the chest, or even a one hit KO to the head.
His next big kick is similar to the traditional round house kick but it has a surprising aspect to it. By keeping his center of gravity low and distracting his opponent with jabs he is able to sneak the kick up high and come crashing down. First he swings his leg to a height greater than his target’s head. After propelling it to the proper height he twists his hips so the top of his foot and knee are facing the ground. Then he executes the roundhouse by snapping his leg. This kick may not be as powerful as normal roundhouses but, any kick to the head will rock your opponent. He has used this kick in almost every single one of his fights making it one of his most used strikes.
His next kick is the one the earned him the nickname, “Showtime”, and made him famous. This kick is the “Showtime Kick”, thus his nickname. By running at the fence he leaps toward it planting his kicking foot on the wall. He then propels himself by pushing off and swinging the kicking foot with a roundhouse to the head. He used this kick in UFC 150 to TKO Benson Henderson. No one saw this kick and he was described as a “Ninja”. Pettis conveys he is able to perform this kick because of his bases in Tae Kwon Do and The board breaking demos he did as a kid.
A lot of people call Tae Kwon Do “Show Kwon Do”, hinting that it has no practical use besides the entertainment of spectators. Anthony Pettis is the perfect example to put this myth to rest. Pettis’ roundhouse kicks put him as one of the hardest kickers in the UFC. Thank you for making Tae Kwon Do a rebuttable style within UFC and the MMA world.
Let me know your favorite Pettis knockout in the comment section below and whether or not he deserves the lightweight title.
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