It was less than 24 hours ago when rumor started leaking out
that Anthony Pettis was injured. Asked about it, UFC president Dana White told FOX Sports on
Saturday night that Pettis had seen a doctor recently but was still
going to fight Josh Thomson “for sure.”
So much for a sure thing.
Pettis has now been ruled out due to the same knee injury,
scratching the UFC lightweight title fight from the Dec. 14 UFC on
FOX card. In its place, Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez II
will serve as the night’s main event.
Johnson-Benavidez II was originally set to go down on Nov. 30
from Las Vegas.
This is the second time in 2013 that the dynamic Pettis has been
forced out of a major fight due to an injury. The first came over
the summer, when more knee woes caused him to withdraw from an
anticipated UFC featherweight championship match against Jose
Instead, he went on to fight lightweight champion Benson
Henderson, defeating him via first-round armbar. The December bout
was scheduled to be his first title defense.
UFC officials told FOX Sports it was not immediately clear
whether Josh Thomson or original top contender T.J. Grant will
receive the first crack at Pettis when he returns. Grant has been
recovering from concussion-related symptoms, and his return
timetable has not yet been publicly disclosed.