UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis defended his lightweight title for the first time at UFC 181 on Dec. 6 by submitting Gilbert Melendez. He had been sidelined since August 2013 due to injuries and filming The Ultimate Fighter 20.
During the UFC 181 post-fight press conference, No. 1 ranked Khabib Nurmagomedov called out the champion and Pettis accepted the challenge. The only problem is, the undefeated Russian is injured. He was forced out of a September bout against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone due to a knee injury.
“He’s still hurt, so we’ve got to see what’s going on with him,” said UFC president Dana White when asked about the lightweight title picture during the UFC Post-Show following The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned Finale on Friday.
No. 3 ranked Rafael dos Anjos faces Nate Diaz in the UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Moicic co-main event in Phoenix on Saturday. Diaz failed to make weight during the weigh-in. Asked if the winner could leapfrog Nurmagomedov and face Pettis next, White wasn’t sure.
But it’s doubtful that Diaz would receive a title shot if he wins. He isn’t currently sitting on White’s good side.
“The Nate Diaz thing is a completely different scenario. The guy is complaining about money. He does tons of things to make sure that he gets fined. He’s complaining about the CM Punk deal,” said White.
“All he’s been doing is complaining, not showing up for stuff, and now he doesn’t make weight. He’s four pounds over. I don’t know what to do with him if he wins. There’s a laundry list of problems there.”