In unfortunate news it would appear that UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (17-2, pictured left) could be on the sidelines for up to eight months after UFC President Dana White confirmed that Pettis would have to undergo surgery for a torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), White revealed the news to a small group of media following UFC 167‘s pre-fight press conference at the Hollywood Theatre inside the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pettis, who recently had to postpone his first lightweight title defence against Josh Thompson (20-5, 1nc), is now likely to be out of action for up to eight months while he recovers from the upcoming surgery.
Pettis had originally suffered the injury during his UFC 164 bout with Benson Henderson (19-3, pictured right), where Pettis captured the lightweight title, but was only expected to be out for around two months with the setback. Dana White stated at the time;
“It’s a [posterior cruciate ligament] sprain — a Grade 2 sprain. He’s got [a lateral collateral ligament] strain, but there are no major tears and he will be back in seven to eight weeks.
However, upon his return to training Pettis re-injured his knee, when checking a kick, and after aggravating the injury he is now left with no alternative other than surgery.
Dana also revealed, that at least for the time being, the UFC would not consider bringing in an interim title to the lightweight division. He did not however confirm what could be next for Josh Thompson, during the absence of Pettis, or TJ Grant (21-5), who was originally set to compete for the lightweight title before suffering a concussion.
One matchup that may make sense while Pettis recovers is to pair Thompson and Grant up against one another, with the winner receiving a title shot versus Pettis upon his return to action.
Meanwhile, Anthony’s younger brother, Sergio Pettis (9-0), will make his official UFC debut this weekend, when he takes on Will Campuzano on the preliminary card of UFC 167 in the bantamweight division.