Pettis injured knee will require surgery

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,”

White said.

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’

return.

“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.