Anthony Pettis won’t be making his first UFC lightweight title defense on December 14. A knee injury has postponed his scheduled fight against Josh Thomson. Pettis won the belt at UFC 164 from Benson Henderson via first-round submission. He’s been on quite a run of success, having recorded three straight finishes.
Unfortunately, it’s not the first time that Pettis has been bitten by the injury bug. A knee injury also forced him to pull out of a featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo at UFC 163. Thomson is getting the shot at Pettis because T.J. Grant continues to deal with concussion-related issues. Thomson looked outstanding in his return to the UFC as he became the first fighter to stop Nate Diaz via strikes at UFC on FOX 7. Their fight will be rescheduled for a later date.
With the Pettis-Thomson fight off the December 14 event, the card now has a new main event. The stacked event will now be headlined by a flyweight title rematch between champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. They clashed back at UFC 152 in the promotion’s first-ever 125-pound title fight. Johnson emerged with the belt thanks to a razor-thin split decision.
Johnson-Benavidez had been scheduled to headline the Ultimate Fighter Season 18 finale on November 30. Because of the shuffling, the headliner on that card will now be a lightweight fight between Diaz and Gray Maynard. That bout between fellow TUF alumni will remain a three-round fight because of the late nature of the change to main event status. Diaz and Maynard are no strangers to one another, having met during TUF and once in their official UFC careers.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports