Pettis takes center cage. They circle. Leg kick, then Pettis with a front kick. Stephens coming forward behind punches, missing. Stephens with an inside leg kick then he drives through a take down and puts Pettis on his back. Pettis goes to guard and works for a triangle or arm bar. Pettis kicks Stephens away. Pettis lands a groin shot that forces a pause. Stephens goes for another leg kick and Pettis caught him with a sharp jab. Pettis with two sharp inside leg kicks. Stephens misses with a high kick. Pettis stalking Stephens. Landing body kicks and leg kicks as Stephens retreats. Switch kick from Pettis. Stephens forces a clinch, works for a single leg. Pettis fends him off briefly before Stephens switches to a double and throws Pettis down. Stephens got figure four leg control of Pettis' lower legs to keep Pettis grounded. Pettis got free and stood up and reversed Stephens against the cage. They separated and Stephens landed a hard combination. Pettis went for a capoeira kick while bouncing on his palm as the round ended.
In the second round, Stephens opens with the groin kick. After a brief pause, they trade in the center cage and Pettis shoots in and gets Stephens down. Pettis lands some elbows to the face and Stephens answers. Stephens gets to guard and Pettis passes with a hard punch. Pettis attacks for a choke but a bleeding Stephens escapes. Stephens fights back to his feet but Pettis stayed on his back and dragged him back down. Stephens stands up after a brief exchange of punches on the ground. Pettis with another take down but Stephens gets right back up. Pettis spins around and takes Stephens back and gets a body triangle. Stephens fights off Pettis but can't seem to escape. Stephens stands and goes for ground and pound from the top.
In the third, Stephens gets the first take down but stands up after Pettis threatens a triangle. Outside leg kick from Pettis then a high kick. Pettis tries for a take down and gets stuffed so he switches to an armbar attempt. Stephens defends and Pettis reverses with a beautiful sweep. Pettis trips Stephens down with about 2:40 left in the round. Stephens tries for a hip toss but Pettis fends it off and lands a combo of punches. Then Pettis takes him back down. Stephens shows out well with a couple of attacks but Pettis fends him off and gets control back. Stephens briefly threw Pettis down but couldn't keep him down.
After the fight, Anthony Pettis said, "It was a victory but for me a mental loss. I wanted to show I was well rounded and show the fans how I deliver. I could have done better. But at the same time it's not all about the knockouts. His face said it all that he wanted to control this fight. I'm still learning how to put the striking and the ground game together."