Anthony Pettis may have been forced to drop out of his August 3rd, UFC 163 tilt with featherweight champ Jose Aldo, but according to UFC boss man Dana White, that doesn’t mean the renowned fighter has lost his chance of an immediate title shot at 145 pounds. In fact, it sounds like Pettis could also return to lightweight (where his greatest hits have taken place) after his injured knee heals and fight for the belt there. When you’re one of the sport’s most entertaining and top fighters, evidently you get to have a few options.
After UFC 161 last night in Winnipeg, White was predictably asked about what’s next for Pettis, who has been replaced by Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163 due to a meniscus tear in the former WEC champ’s knee. According to a report from MMA Fighting.com the UFC President stated:
“He’s definitely in line [at featherweight], but we’ll see what happens. He could do either – he could fight Aldo or he could fight the winner of [Ben] Henderson and T.J. Grant.”
It’s interesting to note that the “The Korean Zombie” was exempt from that statement (yes, Aldo is the clear favourite and is expected to defend his belt). What’s also interesting is that since Pettis isn’t seriously injured, and won’t require surgery, the fighter is apparently interested in rematching Henderson at UFC 164, which will take place in his hometown of Milwaukee. According to White, however, that isn’t going to happen (quote via MMA Junkie).
“Anthony Pettis came today and was telling Ariel (Helwani) he’s going to be ready by the end of August, which is not true,” White said. “He talked to a doctor, and the doctor said he’s out for a good six weeks and he needs a good (physical) therapist and he needs to get his knee back. That’s what a doctor said. He talked to a therapist in Milwaukee who told him three weeks. I could give a s–t what the therapist in Milwaukee thinks – I’m listening to the doctor. And I’m going to fly him out to Las Vegas to see Dr. (Steven) Saunders, too, for a second opinion.”
So, while UFC 164 looks like a long shot for Pettis, it seems like he’ll be fighting for championship gold next.
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