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Anthony Pettis Expected to be Sidelined Six to Eight Months, Hopes for Nate Diaz Upon Return

Posted on by Jeff Cain

Anthony PettisUFC lightweight champion Antony Pettis is scheduled to undergo surgery on Dec. 12 to repair a torn posterior cruciate ligament. He expects to be out of action for six to eight months.

“The doctor said six to eight months, so I’m hoping six months,” Pettis told UFC Tonight about his expected recovery time. “I want to be back by summertime. Hope to get a July fight.”

The 26-year-old fighter injured his knee in his UFC 164 championship bout with former champion Benson Henderson on Aug. 31.

When he returns to defend his title for the first time, Pettis hopes to face Nate Diaz.

When asked who he hopes is the top contender when he returns, Pettis didn’t hesitate in saying, “Nate Diaz.”

Diaz (17-9) is coming off an impressive first-round finish of Gray Maynard on Nov. 30. He had lost his two previous fights, including being knocked out for the first time in his career by Josh Thomson on April 20.

Following the win, Diaz stated that he and training partner Gilbert Melendez were the two top lightweights in the world, something the champion took offense to.

“Nate Diaz has been talking so much. And his last fight, he actually looked pretty decent, but it’s hard to judge against Gray Maynard. I hope Nate works his way up and we get to fight,” he said.

“Nate’s just been talking for a while. Even after his last fight, saying these are the number one and number two lightweights in the world. I mean, that’s taking a shot directly at me,” said Pettis. “That belt is in my front room. It’s there for a reason.”

Pettis was expected to face T.J. Grant on Dec. 14 on the UFC on Fox 9 fight card, but Grant had not yet been medically cleared for a concussion received in training and was ineligible to compete. Josh Thomson was then slated to fight for the title, but Pettis was forced out of the fight with the knee injury.

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  • draven jones

    i think anthony shouldnt fight nate because nate doesnt deserve it. he got knocked out by josh thomson.i think the winner of khabib numergomedov vs tj grant should get the next shot or rafael dos anjos vs nate diaz

    • fsunoles10

      na i think they should give khabib a few more top tier guys to let him get some experience against quality opponents, personally i think dude is gonna be special but i dont think he is championship caliber quite yet.

      • Advance*

        How many fights do you want the guy to win? Gilbert, Thomson and Diaz are all on 1 fight win streaks. Khabib has won 5 in a row. I think a win against any top 10 opponent should get him a title shot

        • Jay Mcgarrity

          Yea seriously, if Khabib does get the TJ fight like he is asking for and wins it, how can you not give him a title shot next? People can question Khabib since he hasn’t taken out any top UFC guys but to do what he did to Pat Healy is proof enough for me. Pat Healy is no Fkin joke and Khabib did some serious work in that fight.

          • Don

            Khakib is actually asking for Gil. That’s a better fight for the fans!

          • Jay Mcgarrity

            Oh yea, I remember seeing that Instagram video but forgot about it for some reason. You’re right, should be a better and more exciting fight. Khabib is playing this just right, a win over Gil does the same if not more than a win over TJ for him. This division is pretty exciting right now in the top contender ranks, hopefully Pettis has a smooth recovery so we can start seeing some title fights.

          • Maddawgmar
        • Maddawgmar

          Khabib is on a 21 fight win streak, dude is undefeated. He is 5-0 in the UFC.

    • bajafox

      You do realize Anthony won’t be back for at least 8 months right? Of course Nate doesn’t deserve it NOW but in 8-10 months he could rack up a few good wins and by the time Anthony is ready, he could very well be the #1 contender.

  • fsunoles10

    im a big diaz fan so im all for it but with that being said i cant honestly say that there isnt more deserving fighters. id give him grant or and lets be honest about this regardless of who you had in the gil benson fight majority wouldnt have argued with an immediate rematch so he shouldnt have dropped far from contention so id say gil too. thomson should have to win at least 1 more fight before getting a title shot.

  • Jay Mcgarrity

    It would be a little silly for Nate to get a title shot without 1 more win over a top guy. There’s no way in hell Nate and Gil would fight, Nate vs Benson is something we don’t need to see again and he’s set to fight Thomson. I’m not sure how long TJ is out for but maybe TJ, Khabib, or Dos Anjos should be next for Nate before a title shot. If Khabib gets TJ like he is asking then the only available opponent for Diaz would be RDA unless he wanted to wait for something to free up. Hopefully whatever happens, Nate starts making more than 15k/15k because that sh*t is infuriating and really brings up some questions on the integrity of the UFC and the bald guy.

    • Maddawgmar

      I have read that Khabib v Gil is in the works, and Dos Anjos is slated to fight Rustam Khabilov, so the only thing left is to fight TJ, unless they want to do Nate/Cerrone again.

      • Jay Mcgarrity

        Those are awesome match ups, hopefully they do Nate vs TJ then because Nate would destroy Cerrone again I would think.

        • Maddawgmar

          I don’t know, I don’t think Cerrone would fight Diaz head on like before. Might be a different style fight.

          • Lucas Freire

            If Cerrone’s doesn’t fight head on he loses. As we all saw on the Diaz vs Cerrone fight, he doesn’t know what to do if he’s not the agressor.
            And not in this world he will be taking down Nate.

          • Barun

            Nah, he freezes up in big fights, he got destroyed by Nate what shouldn’t have happened, idk if he could beat nate but i know he shouldn’t have lost that badly, he knocked Nate down from f****** legs kicks more than once if i recall correctly, but he was so fearful of Nate’s BJJ like he was maia caliber ground fighter, I just Cerrone can hang with Nate on the ground, but Cerrone dont think so.

    • Joe Lea

      Nate Diaz should be happy he has still got a contract with the UFC…if it were up to me I would drop him like a bag of shit…He’s nothing more than “Trash”…he is so disrespectful…just someone I wouldn’t want to be connected to the UFC…he and his brother are just “Trashy” and get rid of Rhonda Rousey..she’s just ” Trailer Park Trash” she is so uncouth….the three of them should move to some Island and stay there forever!

      • MmaJunkie

        Nothing more than trash?!
        Just because the guy knows how to promote the fight he’s in doesn’t make him trash, he has nothing but respect for his opponents after a fight. You sir, are a moron who needs to disappear to that ‘island’ you referred to.

      • Jay Mcgarrity

        While I don’t agree, everyone is entitled to their opinion. The Diaz brothers may come off as disrespectful but a good portion of that is smart promoting while still being true to who they are and where they came from. I prefer people to be themselves like Rhonda rather than put on an act in front of the cameras trying to sound proper and professional.

        The diversity is also nice in the UFC, a lot of different fighters from different walks of life and different backgrounds. While I love and admire a guy like GSP, the UFC would be a lot less exciting if everyone had the same personality as GSP. So many of the new guys model the champions like GSP rather than just trying to be who they really are.

        If GSP grew up in Stockton with a similar up bringing and experience as Diaz and Diaz grew up in Quebec with a similar up bringing to GSP, do you think we would be seeing the same GSP and Nate Diaz today?

        • Jeff Andrews jr

          Its not the up bringing in this case it is the individual… GSP had a rough child hood too… They re ALL Adults… At some point you can no longer blame your child hood.You have to start accepting responsibility for your own actions. How do you explain many people who have had similar child hoods becoming responsible adults. Some even go on to become very successful financially. At the end of the day Nick and Nate KNOW right from wrong. They know what consist of having a good work ethic (as they have shown this by achieving their BJJ black belts and becoming good fighters). People who obtain and achieve these goals KNOW how to conduct themselves in ANY environment. People have said that in most cases they are nice and cool people so it must mean that they (the Diaz brothers) CHOOSE to act this way. And this goes beyond them just “talking trash”… I am talking their immature idiotic behaviour. The middle fingers, the brawls, their disrespectful behaviour. Nick stated in a press conference for 158 that he didn’t like the fact that he had trouble getting sponsors. Well if he wants that to chaneg he needs to change his attitude and way of thinking. The same goes for his brother Nate.

          • Jay Mcgarrity

            I’ll agree with you on the brawls, that is where they crossed the line a few times. I don’t see much of a problem with the middle figures and “disrespectful behavior” as a certain amount of that in the sport isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I still prefer people to be who they are and not put on fronts for the media and the ignorant fans. Some people consider it more professional to dress everyone up in suits and ties for media events and have them speak as if they were English majors. Michael Vick can put as many suits on as he wants, he’s still a piece of ****. R. Kelly puts suits on as well but that doesn’t stop him from pissing on underage girls who wanna take some pee to the face. Mike Tyson kept it real, he was about as disrespectful as they came and he is still one of the greatest sport’s icons of all time.

            Having this false standard of how people should conduct themselves just causes confusion. Tito put on the suit and tie and did his best to string together complete sentences. Like so many others, had Tito not done that so late in the game, we would have no idea who he was. Rhoda is losing a good portion of her fans to Miesha and for all we know Miesha is playing everyone for fools, putting on a prim and proper act. At least I have a good sense of who Rhoda is and where she comes from, I don’t know Miesha from a from a woman walking down the street.

            If you’re a respectful guy like GSP is then by all means, continue to act that way for the world to see. If you’re a thug from the streets, I’d prefer that you not get dressed up like a dancing monkey while trying to pretend you’re something else. I’ll take real over fake, there are plenty of things to get worked up about in the world and in this sport and Nate Diaz sticking up his middle fingers doesn’t come close to making the list.

      • Garyoo

        To be fair they come to fight, if the ufc was full of nicey nice guys it wouldnt be the ufc, i mean gsp is all nicey nice and he sits on people for 5 rounds, infact he aint finished a fight in years, some come for the sport some for the money and some for the fight, sure most people dont like the trash talk but is that a reason to kick someone out of the ufc, no, i guess your one of those guys who gets pissed at trash talking, however rhonda is undefeated, nate only been knocked out once and nick diaz is an ex champ, he destroyed gomi whilst he was hiigh, end of the day if you come to fight your gona talk shit its what hypes a fight, go hard or go home

  • Raymond Gonzalez

    Give Nate Nurmegomedov.

    • Maddawgmar

      I think they are targeting Nurmagomedov v Melendez. That’s something that has been tossed around and could be potentially very interesting.

    • Lucas Freire

      Give the 1-2 guy on the last 3 fights the undefeated prospect?
      Why?

  • Cilantro

    Totally agree about others being more deserving of a title shot than Nate at this point. That said, i totally wanna see this fight tho. Nates boxing and ground game vs Anthonys kicking and athleticism. Both guys guys are tough, well rounded and aggressive. A clear cut f****** nobrainer if you ask me.

  • james velasquez

    Everyone, including Pettis should first talk about Thomson, Gil, TJ, Khabib and after all of them comes Nate in the picture. imo

  • BillyMadison

    Nate diaz never gets past ben henderson,. Henderson got caught by pettis..Not many LW’s will beat Henderson.

    • JET

      You’re correct that not many LW’s will beat Henderson and Diaz would probably lose to him again. But in all fairness, the Diaz fight is the only one in which Henderson was actually dominant out of his last five fights. He barely squeeked by Melendez and Edgar in their first fight. And most people agree, Bendo clearly lost the second fight to Edgar. I don’t think it’s fair to sum up the Pettis fight as Bendo simply getting caught. Pettis had already beat him before and was starting to light him up on the feet before snagging the sub.

      • hmm

        was starting to light him up on the feet before snagging the sub?.. what fight were you watching? all i seen were a few body kicks which Ben ate, but the entire time he was getting controlled up against the fence and couldn’t do anything IMO.

        • Tony

          Watch the fight again. Benson was hurt from those body kicks, thats why he shot for the takedown. He was pretty much out on his feet in my opinion. Two solid body kicks, the same kind of power that shut down Cerrone.

          • Jeff Andrews jr

            Ok now you’re exaggerating… Bendo was not “out on his feet”… He was trying hard to take it to the ground was unsuccessful and after the leg kicks, albeit he was hurt, he was NOT “out on his feet”… Pettis then tried to go up top (which is why Bendo kept his hands high and ate those body kicks b/c he knoew Pettis wanted to go high w/ the kicks to KO him like Lauzon). Bendo caught the high kick and was able to get the take down and the rest know from there.

        • JET

          I think you mean to say “All I saw…”. Yeah, Bendo did well the first half of the round of imploring his boring, decision winning style. But once Pettis created some space and got comfortable, he hit Bendo with body kicks that hurt him bad. What fight did I see? The same one Dana White saw. How many times did he talk about how brutal those body kicks were after the fight? How many of those did it take to TKO the extremely durable Donald Cerrone? One? Thanks for sharing…

    • Mr Pete

      Beside Frankie, and Pettis and Melendez,

  • Dmo

    Diaz could easily be champ, he just needs to change training camps for awhile. he doesn’t seem to be adding anything to his game really.

    • shakejunt

      his problem is that lw and ww are wrestler heavy divisions and he only wants to throw hands.

      • Dmo

        Same problem nick suffers from.

  • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

    Even though Maynard was stopped by Diaz I’d like to see him fight Melendez. Nate needs two more fights at least before he’s fighting for the belt again. Khabib should be fighting Henderson. A lot of interesting fights are out there still. I just don’t see Nate or Gilbert getting a title shot again anytime soon. Jim Miller should still be in the picture to.

    • Jay Mcgarrity

      Gil and Nate are both one big win away from a title shot if it lines up. Jim Miller can’t even be in the title contention talk after losing that win streak he had going and getting completely destroyed by Pat Healy in his most recent fight. Miller looked awesome against Lauzon but I guess those few losses really hurt a lot more than his wins considering his next opponent is Fabricio Camoes and a win over him isn’t going to do much for Miller. I like Miller, the guy grew up an hour away from where i grew up, unfortunately I don’t think he will ever see a title shot.

      • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

        Your from Jersey? I’m based out of Jersey as well. Follow me on Facebook buddy. Miller did get beat by Healy but before that he was on a tear. That shouldn’t hold him back to much. He does need two or three good wins though. Although I wasn’t a fan of TJ Grant getting a title shot I hope he comes back soon and can fight Gil or Nate.

    • Lucas Freire

      Miller is hardly top10 material.

      • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

        He’s 12-3 in the UFC. He’s most certainly no easy fight. Hardly top 5 maybe but give the guy a little more credit. Hardly top 10 is pretty rough. Anyone he can fight to change your mind? Maybe a fight with Gilbert or Diego?

        • Lucas Freire

          He gives his heart on all his fights, but his style and size doesn’t help him that much.

          He got a huge streak, but against who? His biggest name was Gleison Tibau, who is a top15 at its best. Then he got wins against top15 guys and losses to top10 guys.

          Why I say he’s hardly a top10? Because he never managed to win against a top10 fighter. Lost against Maynard/Hendo/Diaz/Healy.

          With that in mind it’s very hard for him to get a streak again, as he won’t be fighting Danzig,Ludwig or Shalorus. He’ll be always one win away from a shot at the top10 guys, who are all ,in my opinion, out of his reach.
          I don’t see him being able to do anything against Sanchez or Melendez, or anyone above him as a matter of fact.

          I’d say he,Melvin,Lauzon and Pearson are the gatekeepers of the division.

          • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

            Very well put.

    • Jeff Andrews jr

      I see Gil getting the next shot… He lost a VERY close decision to Benson and then in his return he has an AMAZINGLY EPIC fight of the century with Diego Sanchez… One thing is for sure b/c of that fight Grant has all but lost his title shot.

      • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

        Khabib and Gil for next shot. Does that interest you? I want to see Gil fight at least two more times before getting another title shot.

        • Jeff Andrews jr

          I’d take Gil over Khabib… To me Khabib needs to polish up on his striking before he is ready for Pettis… I mean his ground, clinch and grappling/wrestling is phenomenal but his striking is still not up to par in my honest opinion. Gil however, I see as having a REAL good chance at dethroning Pettis. If people are campaigning for Gus and Hendricks to get immediate title shots so too should they be doing the same for Melendez. He lost via split decision in a bout that some (not including me) feel he won. Over ANYONE else (except for maybe Grant) I think Gil deserves the next shot.

          • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

            Would you be cool with Gil/Henderson rematch and if Gil wins he gets title shot? It’s not like he dominated the fight, it was a close fight. Thompson and Pettis sounded interesting but now everything is all in limbo with the new champ injured.

  • Mr Pete

    Pettis vs Aldo
    Pettis vs Melendez
    Pettis vs Penn
    Pettis vs Thompson
    Pettis vs Grant
    Pettis vs Barboza (very underrated, brutal leg kicks)
    Pettis vs Melvin
    Pettis vs Nate
    Pettis vs Healy
    Pettis vs Olivera
    Pettis vs Frankie (has never really been beaten)
    Pettis vs Nurmagomedov (Best bet to dethrone)

    Plenty of entertaining fights for him, no need to rush him people he still only 26

    • bajafox

      Huge fan of Penn but hes done at 155

      • MaritalArtist

        Pretty much. I hope he revives his career at FW. It would be fun to watch Penn knock people out at 45!

  • tuffguy

    Wow! Diaz doesn’t really deserve title shot. Anthony really wants to kick his ass. Diaz biting off way more than he can chew. Easy money for showtime,