Dana White Targets Anthony Pettis vs. TJ Grant for UFC on Fox 9; Faber vs. McDonald Booked

September 11, 2013
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Anthony PettisUFC on Fox 9 has had a date for quite some time, but just recently got a venue and location: the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

Now, the fight card is starting to take shape.

UFC president Dana White on Wednesday told UFC Tonight that he is targeting UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis’ first title defense as the UFC on Fox 9 main event. If it comes to fruition, he’ll put the belt on the line against No. 1 contender T.J. Grant.

Pettis injured his knee in capturing the belt from Benson Henderson, but the injury was deemed a Grade 2 sprain, meaning he should be good to go well before December.

The question mark, however, is if Grant would be ready. Grant was the original opponent for Henderson, but suffered a concussion in training. He told UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani that he was targeting a return in January, but would consider December if that’s what the UFC wants.

One fight that has been booked, according to UFC officials on Twitter, is Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald. It will serve as the co-main event in Sacramento, Faber’s hometown. McDonald’s manager, Tom Call, confirmed that a verbal agreement is in place for the bout.

Faber (29-6) is on a three-fight winning streak, after losing in his bid to become the UFC interim bantamweight champion by dropping a unanimous decision to Renan Barao at UFC 149 last summer. His streak has kept him in the thick of title contention and a win over McDonald would likely put him right at the top of the list.

McDonald (16-2) also failed in his own bid to become the interim champ when Barao submitted him at UFC on Fuel TV 7 in February. That loss ended an eight-fight winning streak.

McDonald has since bounced back by submitting Brad Pickett at the recent UFC Fight Night 26 in Boston.

White indicated that Faber’s teammate, Chad Mendes, is also a target for the UFC on Fox 9 fight card, although no probably opponent was named.

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  • Mark McDowall

    Why waste a good fight like this on a free card?? UFC is really making it tough to shell out $50 on PPV’s when the free cards are becoming better!!!

    • Justin E.

      Yep. It’s good business for them though and it works for me. The people who buy most of the ppv’s don’t care about lighter weight classes at all. They just want to see fat guys in a sloberknocker. But people will watch the lighter guys for free and see that it’s amazing, which is good in the long run. It’s also better exposure for the lighter guys, as more people will see them and they will have a better chance to get good sponsors.

    • Kbroesq

      Why are you complaining exactly? The casual fans aren’t as into the lighter weight fighters, so us long time MMA fans can take advantage of that by getting free fights that will be better than any heavyweight fight they can offer.

      • Mark McDowall

        Not complaining…hell who doesn’t like to save $50. Just saying that the free cards are becoming consistently stronger than the PPV’s. They can’t expect to keep selling alot when they have a strong main event, a decent co-main and doo doo else.

  • JDMMA

    Chad Mendes vs Cub Swanson or Lamas

  • Kbroesq

    I’m really torn on the McDonald/Faber fight. It’s an awesome fight, no doubt. I think McDonald is one of my favorite fighters right now and I want to see him do well. I realize he just came off a spectacular finish of Pickett, but I don’t want to see McDonald lose again so early. He’s really young and I think he’s journeys back to title contention should be more of a gradual incline than a steep slope.

    I wish they would have given McDonald a bit of an easier opponent, but this is a pretty damn good fight.

  • solo

    I found out that Miocic vs Browne is gonna be on this card!