Anthony Pettis (pictured) was guaranteed a UFC lightweight title fight after unleashing his infamous “Showtime Kick” on Benson Henderson to capture the WEC 155-pound crown in December 2010. Fast forward nearly three years and Pettis has still not competed for UFC gold.
First, then-champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard fought to a draw and an immediate rematch was arranged. Pettis then decided to make his big league debut against Clay Guida and lost. After climbing his way back up the lightweight totem pole, Pettis decided he didn’t want to wait and dropped to featherweight to challenge Jose Aldo for his throne at UFC 163.
Now, a knee injury has forced him out of the August shootout and will have him sidelined him for the foreseeable future.
The good news for Pettis is that he won’t need to go under the knife for his knee and he’s still in play for the lightweight and featherweight titles.
“Anthony Pettis’ knee is not bad, but it’s not good,” UFC president Dana White said after the UFC 161 post-fight press conference. “He doesn’t require surgery, he’s going to have to go into therapy.”
Pettis’ physical therapist told him he might be able to return to action in just three weeks. White said that is an inaccurate timeline, as the doctor said he’ll be riding the pine for “a good six weeks.”
White added that they will have Pettis fly out to Las Vegas to get a second opinion from the UFC’s physician. However, once “Showtime” is ready to return, it appears a title bout will be waiting for him – in one division or the other.
“I’m in no hurry,” White said of rushing the 26-year-old back into the Octagon. “Nobody’s more bummed out about the Pettis (vs. Aldo) fight than me – I was talking to you guys about it Thursday. But I’m not going to put Pettis in there in three and a half weeks when it should take six weeks for his knee to heal.
“He’s definitely in line [at featherweight[, we’ll see what happens. He could do either – he could fight Aldo or he could fight the winner of [Henderson] and T.J. Grant [at UFC 164].”