Well, that was fast. Just minutes after TJ Grant revealed July’s concussion wouldn’t allow him to return in time to challenge Anthony Pettis (pictured) for his lightweight crown in December, the UFC announced Josh Thomson will now fight Pettis.
Thomson, who is currently ranked fifth in the UFC Lightweight Fighter Rankings, has alternated between wins and losses over his past five scraps. The former Strikeforce 155-pound champion hasn’t collected two straight wins since October 2010.
“The Punk” was most recently seen in April posting a TKO victory over former top contender Nate Diaz in his return to the Octagon.
Pettis submitted Benson Henderson last month at UFC 164 to capture the throne. He suffered a grade two PCL sprain and an LCL strain on his left knee in the process, but fortunately managed to sidestep surgery.
With Monday night’s announcement, it appears UFC officials are confident their latest superstar will be back in action by the two month timetable that was laid out by doctors.
The creator of the “Showtime Kick” has won eight of his last nine bouts, including four consecutive.
UFC on FOX 9 takes place December 14 inside Sleep Train Arena (formerly known as Arco Arena) in Sacramento, California.
Here are the athletes currently slated to perform in Sacto:
Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald
Josh Thomson vs. Anthony Pettis (UFC lightweight champion)