Stephen Thompson and Anthony Pettis have verbally agreed to a welterweight bout for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s upcoming visit to Nashville on March 23.
Multiple outlets have confirmed the pairing following an initial report from ESPN.com. The event is expected to take place at Bridgestone Arena, with the main card airing on ESPN+. Neither the location of the event nor the bout have been formally announced by the promotion. Thompson vs. Pettis is expected to headline the card.
Thompson, a two-time welterweight title challenger, is coming off a controversial five-round decision loss against Darren Till in the UFC Fight Night 130 main event on May 27. The karate specialist has won just once in his last four outings, a three-round verdict over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217. “Wonderboy” owns notable wins against Rory MacDonald, Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger, Robert Whittkaer and Patrick Cote during his promotional tenure.
Pettis, meanwhile, will be making his welterweight debut after Octagon stints at lightweight and featherweight. The former UFC and WEC 155-pound champ has struggled in recent years, posting a 3-6 record since 2015, although all of his defeats have come against top competition. In his last outing, “Showtime” suffered a second-round TKO loss to Tony Ferguson at UFC 229.