Round 1 - We're now live on Spike TV, and referee Kerry Hatley oversees this lightweight contest. Both fighters light on their feet early, and it's Stephens he fires hands first. Pettis with a very forward stand, and he fires a front kick. Pettis stalking, but Stephens shoots in underneath and gets the fight to the floor. Pettis in guard, and he gets his legs high. Left leg on the shoulder, but Stephens pulls away. Back on the feet, and Pettis fires a kick to the cup. Accidental shot, but we take a quick break. ON the restart, Pettis lands a crisp straight. Pair of leg kicks from Pettis. Stephens answers with one of his own. Pettis pushing in and controlling the center, but Stephens keeping range. Stephens clinches and pushes against the cage. He grinds away and finally wraps the body and takes the fight to the floor. Final minute. Pettis stands, and they do break for a striking exchange at the end. Pettis with a little capoeira to end, but it's blocked. Stephens takes the opening round on the MMAjunkie.com card, 10-9.
Round 2 - Stephens wings a big right that misses. Stephens catches the cup with a low kick, but Pettis needs just a brief moment. Stephens gets in and out. Pettis gets a surprising takedown and moves into side control. Stephens rolls his legs, and Pettis passes and punches. He then presses back in and regains half-mount. Stephens works butterfly underneath. Pettis controlling the position, but he doesn't do much damage. Stephens stands, but Pettis still has the body locked. He drags him down again, but Stephens pops right back to his feet. Still, two minutes remain and Pettis is in control thus far. Bodylock stays tight, and he drags the action back to the floor. Stephens has been trapped against the cage, but he keeps rising. Pettis slips to the back and works in a hook, then a figure-four. Stephens controlling one arm to stay safe. Pettis keeps looking for the choke, but it's not going to come. Stephens spins in, escapes and stands to finish, but Pettis uses his legs to stay safe. Clear round for Pettis, 10-9.
Round 3 - Big crowd cheer to open, and Stephens charges forward with strikes and into a takedown. But Pettis gets up before absorbing any damage and looks to strike. After a brief exchange, it's Pettis who looks for the takedown. Stephens reverses it and takes top, but Pettis sweeps again. Tight action in the final round of a tight fight. Clinch against the cage. Pettis continue to press in, and he again scores with a takedown. Stephens backs up, and he has to block a kick before he's taken to the floor again. Two minutes remain. Stephens easily back to his feet, but Pettis refuses to release the bodylock. A scramble sees the fight hit the floor again. THis time Stephens is on top. Pettis looks for an armbar and scrambles up when it misses. Not quite the slugfest most wanted, but it's competitive. Final minute. Crowd chanting for "Showtime." Pettis circles off the cage. He wants a late takedown, but it's not going to come. Pettis does hit a knee, but that's it. Pettis misses a flashy kick to close, and MMAjunkie.com sees him taking the final frame, 10-9, and earning the fight 29-28. Anthony Pettis def. Jeremy Stephens via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).