UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis underwent surgery in early December to repair a torn posterior cruciate ligament. Doctors expect him to be out of action for six to eight months.
Pettis is apparently shooting for the six-month – or even less – end of that spectrum.
“The doctor said six to eight months, so I’m hoping six months,” Pettis told UFC Tonight shortly after the surgery, and then touched base with them again on Wednesday night to reiterate that he wants to fight in July.
Pettis told UFC Tonight that his knee rehab is going great and that he intends to return in July. His manager, Mike Roberts, added that they want to fight on the UFC’s annual Fourth of July weekend event on July 5.
Dr. Robert Klapper, an Orthopedic Surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group, who was a guest on UFC Tonight, explained that Pettis’ knee injury is one of the most difficult to recover from, and said, “Coming back in July, that’s really optimistic.”
Pettis was initially expected to fight Josh Thomson in December before finding out that surgery would keep him on the sidelines for several months.
Thomson will now fight Benson Henderson at UFC on Fox 10 this weekend in Chicago, and if Pettis’ prognostication is accurate, Thomson will lose his shot at the champ. Pettis is picking Henderson to defeat Thomson.