The injury bug sure has done a number on several fighters this week. However, TJ Grant having to pull out of his title bout against UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson is by far the biggest sting it took.
And just like that, Anthony Pettis (pictured) has received what he’s been clamoring for. The former WEC 155-pound champ has agreed to serve as substitute on August 31 to challenge Henderson for his throne.
Pettis initially earned a crack at “Smooth” after putting Donald Cerrone to sleep in January. Although, instead of waiting for Henderson, he opted to shed 10 pounds and go for Jose Aldo’s featherweight belt at UFC 163.
“Showtime” was subsequently forced to withdraw with a knee injury, but claimed he could return in time to fight Henderson at UFC 164 if the opportunity presented itself.
“Is this real life????” Pettis tweeted moments after the announcement. “U can’t stop destiny !!! Me and Henderson for the belt in my home town!!!!”
Henderson, meanwhile, has rattled off six consecutive victories en route to capturing the UFC strap. His past three scraps have been of the title defense variety.
Pettis is the last man to defeat Henderson. You remember, the infamous “Showtime Kick” at WEC 53 in December 2010. Bendo certainly hasn’t forgotten…
Grant was forced to exit after suffering a concussion while training Brazilian jiu jitsu. No word on when he’ll be cleared to return to action.
Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin hosts the festivities.
Here is the show’s revised roster:
Pascal Krauss vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
Louis Gaudinot vs. Tim Elliot
Quinn Mulhern vs. Ryan Couture
Chico Camus vs. Kyung Ho Kang
Magnus Cedeblad vs. Jared Hamman
Jamie Varner vs. Gleison Tibau
Derek Brunson vs. Yoel Romero
Soa Palelei vs. Nikita Krylov
Ben Rothwell vs. Brandon Vera
Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida
Dustin Poirier vs. Erik Koch
Frank Mir vs. Josh Barnett
Anthony Pettis vs. Benson Henderson (UFC lightweight champion)