UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will likely miss the
first half of 2014 after having knee surgery to repair damage he
suffered recently that pushed him out of his scheduled bout against
Josh Thomson in December.
UFC president Dana White revealed on Thursday when speaking to
FOX Sports that Pettis’ knee will put him under the knife and keep
him out of action for several months. A previous report from UFC
Tonight stated that Pettis was still seeking a second opinion next
week, so something could potentially change although White seemed
confident in the diagnosis.
“He’s going to have the surgery. (He’s out) 7 or 8 months,”
As for the lightweight contenders, which include both Josh
Thomson and former No. 1 ranked challenger T.J. Grant, it seems
both will move forward with fights while Pettis recovers. White
stated the company won’t consider an interim title at this time,
but neither Thomson or Grant is guaranteed anything upon Pettis’
“Those guys will keep fighting,” White said.
Injuries have derailed a big part of Pettis’ career with the UFC
since he moved there in 2011. Pettis defeated Joe Lauzon in early
2012, but then sat out the rest of the year due to injuries that
prevented him from returning to action. Following a knockout win
over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in January 2013, Pettis was then
scheduled to face featherweight champion Jose Aldo in a potential
super fight, but that was also cancelled due to injury.
White says that Pettis is potentially one of the biggest stars
being built on the UFC’s roster, but the litany of injuries he
continues to endure are definitely pushing him back from where he
could be right now without them.
“It’s very unfortunate,” White said. “I’m not kidding you when I
say this, I think the two most talented guys right now, the two
guys that I think are the hottest prospects to become huge
superstars are Renan Barao and (Anthony) Pettis.”
If Pettis does seek out additional medical expertise, his return
time could be cut down dramatically, but there is also the chance
that without surgery he could re-injure the knee forcing him out
for an even longer period of time.
There’s been no word from the UFC on how soon Thomson could
return to action or if they are indeed waiting on Pettis’ timetable
before making that decision.