Top UFC lightweights Anthony Pettis and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone were widely believed to be the likeliest options to coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. Of course, it was announced yesterday that that job would go to light heavyweights Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen instead. It is now known that, if not the only reason, at least a primary reason that Pettis and Cerrone are not coaching is a fairly seriously injured shoulder that Pettis has apparently re-aggravated.
Pettis confirmed the issue yesterday on his official Twitter account. Fortunately, he does not expect the hurt shoulder to keep him out of training for long. He and Cerrone are still expected to fight in January, although an exact event and date for that bout have not yet been set.
During an interview with MMAFighting, Pettis said, “[I'm] still recovering from shoulder surgery and it’s taking longer than expected. I was hoping to get ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ gig because I was told it was me and Cerrone coaching, and now it’s not happening. I’m just frustrated with everything, man.”
Pettis and Cerrone have been verbally jousting for some time, although Pettis’ injury has delayed the two men settling their differences in the Octagon. Cerrone stated previously, “I’ve been trying to fight Anthony for a while now and every time I suggest it his manager comes back and says, ‘well, we’re not ready.’ ‘Maybe we’ll fight somebody else right now.’ There’s always an excuse. “He wants to just sit and hide behind his win over Ben Henderson and keep riding that gravy train. But there are fighters who want to fight him and prove that he’s all talk.”
Assuming Pettis heals on schedule, Cerrone seems likely to have his chance to do just that in the near future.