Fans and MMA insiders have had a couple of days now to absorb what went down in the UFC 164 headliner Saturday, which even the biggest Anthony Pettis supporters likely didn’t see ending by submission. Of course Pettis has shown on several occasions that he’s much more than just a killer striker and has a dangerous ground game, but still…Henderson is not only a BJJ black belt but he’s an experienced and skilled wrestler. Even if someone thought Pettis might score a tap-out win, they likely saw it materializing after Henderson had been stunned with a pounding strike.
Well, one man who wasn’t shocked by the events at UFC 164 is Diego Moraes, who is one of “Showtime’s” jiu-jitsu coaches. While speaking to MMA Fighting.com, here’s what Moraes had to say about the BJJ purple belt’s victory, which came via a nasty looking armbar.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Moraes said. “He’s worked a lot on his jiu-jitsu. He already had a good ground game, and he’s getting better now that he worked with Team Moraes for his last three or four fights. He trained with a lot of black belts in Brazil and was confident enough to fight jiu-jitsu with anyone. I rooted for a submission (in this fight) because I wanted him to show how good his jiu-jitsu is. Nobody expected that, except the ones who train with him every day.”
“Anthony has jiu-jitsu skills to defeat anyone in this division,” he said. “He’s training with the best grapplers. People always say how great he is as a striker, but he showed he’s a complete champion. He stopped Ben Henderson’s takedowns, worked his striking and submitted a jiu-jitsu black belt who trains with (multiple-time world champion) Augusto Mendes.”
With all this in mind, you can probably understand why Moraes also relayed in the interview that Pettis “will” defeat Aldo, and that the champ has a “good chance” to do it via knockout or tap-out. Keep your fingers crossed that this fight happens.
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