UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis may be back sooner rather than later.
After facing a possible year and a half layoff, Pettis is aiming for the UFC’s annual Fourth of July card for his return. Ariel Helwani first reported the news on UFC Tonight.
Pettis is no stranger to injuries as he has only fought three times in the past two years. If Pettis makes his return in July it would be nearly one year since he last competed.
Pettis was last seen in August of 2013 where he submitted then lightweight champion Ben Henderson with an armbar in the first round. He was granted the title shot after TJ Grant pulled out of the UFC 164 main event with a concussion. Pettis was just returning from being shelved after withdrawing from a featherweight title fight with Jose Aldo.
He was then scheduled to face Josh Thomson this past December for his first title defense but was forced to pull out of the bout due to a torn PCL. Thomson will now fight the former lightweight champion Benson Henderson in a bout that could easily deterring the next challenger to Pettis’ belt. There is no shortage of title contenders though so when Pettis returns, he will be put to purpose quickly.
Pettis has since had surgery to repair his PCL and told Ariel Helwani that his recovery is “going great” which is a fantastic sign given the aforementioned line of lightweight contenders that is circling around the block.
Should Josh Thompson defeat Ben Henderson this Saturday, he will likely find himself rebooked with Pettis. Other options for Pettis’ first title defense include Gilbert Melendez, TJ Grant, and Nate Diaz.
For updates on the return of UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis visit SciFighting.com.