Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis hopes to return for July 5 UFC event

Injuries are the only thing keeping the lightweight champion from returning.

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This Saturday, Anthony Pettis serves as an analyst for the UFC on FOX event in Chicago. It’s just a temporary diversion as he continues to rehabilitate the surgically repaired posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Just over a month following that procedure, Pettis is beginning to focus on the future and returning to action in hopes of defending his UFC lightweight champion. On Wednesday’s UFC Tonight, Ariel Helwani reported that Pettis hopes to have his comeback fight at the UFC’s July 5 event.

The holiday weekend show is typically among the promotion’s biggest events of the year.

He still has plenty of work to do to get there, however.

Pettis recently told his hometown Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he was still about a month away from being able to run, and two months away from doing weight work with his leg. For now, he is focusing on straight knee rehabilitation and upper body work.

The exciting 26-year-old injured the knee during his title win over Benson Henderson last August.

When he returns, there is no clear-cut No. 1 contender set to face him, although Josh Thomson could seize the spot with a victory over Henderson this Saturday night in Chicago. If Henderson emerges victorious, the situation is a bit more hazy since Pettis has already defeated him twice. Another possibility is T.J. Grant, who has won five fights in a row but has been out since last May due to lingering concussion issues.