Stephen Thompson and Anthony Pettis have verbally agreed to face each other on March 23’s UFC Nashville according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
A matchup of striking greats seems to be in the works for the UFC’s next stop-off in Nashville, Tennessee in March.
ESPN‘s Ariel Helwani was the first to report that the bout has been verbally agreed upon by both parties.
Stephen Thompson vs. Anthony Pettis at 170 pounds is verbally agreed to for the March 23 fight night event, which is expected to be in Nashville. Fight isn’t signed just yet but expected to be finalized shortly. Story coming to ESPN in a bit.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 15, 2019
Pettis, who will make his UFC welterweight debut if this bout goes ahead, fought as low as featherweight in recent years before losing out to current champion Max Holloway at UFC 206 in a clash for the divisional interim-title.
Since then, he has recaptured his form somewhat, taking home a fantastic submission victory over Michael Chiesa at UFC 226 before going to war with the seemingly unstoppable Tony Ferguson at UFC 229 – albeit in defeat.
Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, on the other hand, is in a bit of an odd spot having failed to defeat welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on two occasions before losing out on the scorecards to UFC 228 headliner Darren Till – leaving him in limbo to a certain extent and unlikely to get another crack at the belt while it remains under Woodley’s control.
As two of the finest strikers in MMA history, this fight makes a whole lot more sense from a stylistic perspective than it does for the trajectory of either man’s career but even still, it will no doubt be an incredibly fun matchup.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena