WINNIPEG – A knee injury suffered by Anthony Pettis this earlier this week, UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), is “not bad” and won’t require surgery.
That said, White said a Pettis claim that he could be back in three weeks is premature and he wants the fighter checked out by one of the UFC’s doctors for second opinion.
Pettis (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was scheduled to fight UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (22-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 163 on Aug. 3 – despite being the top contender at lightweight. But on Thursday, White announced the fighter’s injury and announced “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung (13-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) will replace him in Rio de Janeiro instead of fighting Ricardo Lamas (13-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 162 next month.
“It’s not bad,” White told MMAjunkie.com after Saturday’s UFC 161 card in Winnipeg. “Anthony Pettis’ knee is not bad, but it’s not good. He doesn’t require surgery, but he’s going to have to go into therapy.”
However, White said Pettis’ claims about being back quicker might not matter.
“Anthony Pettis came today and was telling Ariel (Helwani) he’s going to be ready by the end of August, which is not true,” White said. “He talked to a doctor, and the doctor said he’s out for a good six weeks and he needs a good (physical) therapist and he needs to get his knee back. That’s what a doctor said. He talked to a therapist in Milwaukee who told him three weeks. I could give a s–t what the therapist in Milwaukee thinks – I’m listening to the doctor. And I’m going to fly him out to Las Vegas to see Dr. (Steven) Saunders, too, for a second opinion.”
White on Thursday told reporters that he was looking forward to the Aldo-Pettis fight. And it appears to be a fight he’d like to keep as a possibility.
But he said Pettis remains possible to fight the August winner of lightweight champ Benson Henderson vs. T.J. Grant, as well. Those two meet in the main event of UFC 164 – in Pettis’ home city of Milwaukee. Pettis became the top lightweight contender in January with a win over Donald Cerrone. But he said a week later after Aldo’s win over Frankie Edgar that he wanted to drop to featherweight to challenge Aldo.
“I’m in no hurry,” White said. “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 (still at featherweight), but 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.”
For more on UFC 163, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Anthony Pettis)