UFC President Dana White recently made it clear that there will be no interim lightweight title while Anthony Pettis Recovers from his knee injury.
When UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre was recovering from a knee injury last year, the UFC made Carlos Condit the interim welterweight champ during his absence. Additionally, the UFC also made Renan Barao the interim bantamweight champ after Dominick Cruz had been sidelined for about an entire year also due to a knee injury.
According to MMAFighting.com, when asked if there would be an interim lightweight title during Pettis’s recovery time, White said no.
He went on to praise Pettis as being one of the top young prospects in the UFC. White claimed that the only other fighter in the UFC that will have as bright a future as Pettis was interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao.
Barao is scheduled to fight against returning champ Dominick Cruz on Febuary 1st at UFC 169. The winner of the bout will be the undisputed champion, meaning there will be no interim titleholder afterwards.
Pettis took the lightweight belt from Benson Henderson at UFC 164 by submitting the former champ with an armbar in the very first round. He was scheduled to make his first title defense against Josh Thomson but was forced to withdraw after injuring his knee and requiring surgery.