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Anthony Pettis Sidelined for Six Weeks, Won’t Get UFC 164 Fight with Benson Henderson

Posted on by Ken Pishna

Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis - WEC 53

Anthony Pettis’ hopes of fighting any time in August were dashed on Wednesday when UFC doctors said that he needs at least six weeks to recover from a recent tear to his meniscus.

MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed the news first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, who received confirmation from UFC president Dana White.

The good news is that it appears Pettis will avoid surgery.

The injury occurred while he was training with Phil Davis during a promotional trip in Rio de Janeiro, where Pettis was supposed to challenge featherweight champion Jose Aldo on Aug. 3 at UFC 163.

After dropping out of the Aldo fight, Pettis took aim at lightweight champion Benson Henderson at UFC 164, which happens to be slated for Aug. 28 in Pettis’ hometown of Milwaukee.

The problem with that is UFC officials have already announced Henderson would defend his belt against TJ Grant at UFC 164. Pettis has been the No. 1 lightweight contender since January, but asked for and received the featherweight bout with Aldo instead of waiting for Henderson to first get past incoming Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, which he did in April.

“I can be 100-percent ready to fight Benson Henderson in Milwaukee.  With all due respect to TJ Grant, Milwaukee is my town and the fight with Ben is the fight everyone has wanted for years,” read a statement that Pettis released to Fuel TV.  “If it works out, great; if not, I will get my shot very soon.  But I think we all know which fight the fans want to see and the entire city of Milwaukee!”

White immediately shot down the idea, saying that Pettis would not be ready for Milwaukee.

Technically, even with a six-week recovery staring him in the face, Pettis could be ready by Aug. 28, but it would leave little wiggle room for fight-specific preparation and would be a considerable risk if his rehab didn’t go according to plan.

In short, Benson Henderson vs. TJ Grant has already been announced and the UFC isn’t going to risk a pay-per-view on the hope that there are no setbacks in Pettis’ rehab.

Pettis, however, took the setback in stride.

“Injuries are part of the sport. Small tear in my meniscus,” he tweeted. “I was so ready for this fight, this won’t stop me! Be back soon.”

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  • Cereal Killer

    Karma.

    • Pete

      Teaching him a lesson, for his misdeeds?

  • hahaa

    Anthony “Gaytime” petties

  • Sir_Roy

    Holy crap would that have ever been completely unfair to Grant though. Pettis, you made a calculated risk, now live with the consequences.

    Spend the time getting ready to make weight, move down, and fight Aldo. Hope you’re ready for a war!

  • bajafox

    I’d still rather see him against Aldo than Henderson. It was clear that Aldo did not want to fight him, and for that reason alone, I want to see it, lol

    • kbroesq

      Totally agree. I really wanted to see that fight. Aldo is seriously nearly as dominant as Anderson Silva has been, and some would argue that Also constantly faces the best fighters in the world. I really thought the Pettis fight was very compelling.

      I hope they just try to reschedule that one.

      • Cptmats

        Aldo is a killer in the first three rounds but i think making 145lbs. is too much for him.
        If Pettis could steal one of the first three he would have a really good chance at taking Aldo’s belt.
        I hope this fight still happens !

  • Ed

    ANTHONY “SUPERFICIAL” PETTIS!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ian Price

    I can’t wait for Aldo vs Pettis. What would be crazy is if Aldo lost to KZ first. Then what happens? Would Pettis simply move up to LW? I would.

  • Darin

    I’ve never seen anyone squander momentum like Pettis. He delivers in the cage, then finds ways to sabotage himself outside the cage.

    • JJ

      Like have a freak injury?

      • Lucas Freire

        Like saying he should get a title shot at the division he ditched to get a title shot at the divison below.

    • Tom Jolley

      Alistar dude hes been given like three shot at being a tittle conteder