UFC's Anthony Pettis set for surgery after title shot goes to Frankie Edgar

With a title shot not on the immediate horizon, Anthony Pettis is making sure he's completely ready when his time comes.

The former WEC lightweight champion and top-tier UFC lightweight is set to undergo surgery for an undisclosed injury, manager Mike Roberts today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

The move was first revealed on Tuesday's edition of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV.

According to a report on MMAWeekly.com, Pettis (15-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will be out of action for eight weeks but should be ready to fight by mid to late summer.

Earlier this month, former champ Frankie Edgar (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) was granted an immediate rematch with new champ Benson Henderson (16-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) for this summer. That took the opportunity off the table for Pettis, who wowed fans by knocking out Joe Lauzon at UFC 144 with an 81-second head-kick KO. It was his second consecutive win following a decision loss to Clay Guida that scratched a possible No. 1 contender's spot.

Recent rumors suggested Pettis might defect to Strikeforce to vie for champ Gilbert Melendez's belt, but those were shot down by Roberts. Another rumor that he was headed to featherweight to challenge UFC champ Jose Aldo was similarly dismissed.

"I'm not dropping to 145 to fight aldo!" Pettis tweeted. "155 is my home, and I'll get that belt soon!!!"

From the sidelines, Pettis will watch Henderson vs. Edgar II with heightened interest. If the title bout takes place sometime in the summer, he could be forced to wait until the fall to meet the winner, or he could choose to take a fight as soon as he's ready. He faced a similar situation when Edgar fought Maynard to a draw at UFC 125, which delayed a title shot he was supposed to receive after he won the WEC belt in the promotion's final show. He chose instead to fight Guida, and fell short.

Pettis will surely have plenty of time to think about options in the next few months.

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Sakurobot on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm ET
I guess Edgar getting the title shot was a blessing in a disguise for Pettis.  I do want to see him in a championship fight eventually.  Best of luck to Pettis on his surgery.

bruno_sardine on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm ET
It'd be pretty ironic if it was Pettis vs. Edgar for the title, and Pettis edges Edgar in a close fight....but he is then backed into a rematch w/ Edgar because the #1 contender fight ends in a draw.

Stockton_Slap on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm ET

Edgar will fight for the title for the next to years.

MarcP on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:21 pm ET
Poor Guy has to get his heart stitched back together because hes been told he cant fight for the UFC title untill pigs fly out of his a$$.

FrostByte24 on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm ET
UFC needs a better structure, they do a fine job with the lower ranked guys but at the top they do basically what the **** they want, you can't just keep doing instant rematches all the time. The LW division has had 3 straight instant rematches featuring Frankie Edgar, NOBODY wanted to see this fight again so why do it again? I hate instant rematches because they just make everyone cry about instant rematches and put the whole division's title on hold because some guy like Frankie can't accept that he lost fair and square, he didn't get screwed so why? Same with Anderson/Sonnen they wanted to do an instant rematch when this man lost to a triangle choke, you don't tap to a triangle choke by mistake or with controversy. 
Their structure at the top of the divisions is absolute crap, some guy like Dan Hardy should of never fought GSP, Damian Maia should of never fought Anderson. Its ridiculous sometimes. Also Rampage fighting for the LHW was ridiculous. Get a structure going and we'll have a better sport.

WillFightForFood on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm ET
I agree with most of that...the UFC should start slapping a few tournaments together and weed out all the contenders.  Everyone seems to have differing opinions on who the next title shot(s) should go to.  I like the way Bellator does it.

edub001 on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm ET
-Plenty of people thought he got screwed. Plenty of people didn't think he lost fair and square.

-Guys like Maia, Leites, and Hardy get title shots because they throw wrenches into match making by beating future title challengers. Maia beat Sonnen, Leites "beat" Nate, Hardy beat Swick. You can't just keep guys like GSP and Anderson on the sidelines because they don't have a legitimate #2 to fight everytime they're ready. We'd see title challenges far less than we do now.

-Just for some foresight; what I'm about to say is coming from a guy who thought Edgar won against Ben, but also penned an article a day later about the need for him to move to FW right now (I have no urge to see a rematch that will undoubtibly be as close as the first, and could very well spark an immediate trilogy). If nobody wanted to see the rematch, the UFC wouldn't be putting it on. They may act like "hey were doing this because Frankie had to go through this, blah blah blah"... but if there was no fan reaction in support of this fight they would be putting on Pettis-Henderson 2. The UFC is a business first, and their research has obviously shown that this still is a big money making match up.

Twostrikes on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm ET
I think you're wrong.  The reaction I've seen is mostly negative to yet another rematch involving Frankie Edgar.  DW has backed off other fights after massive negative reaction but I think 2 things have made this different, one much more important than the other.

1. The least important is that Dana White and some MMA talking heads think Edgar won the fight.  Dana White is in control and if he personally wants the rematch very strongly, I would not put it past him to not care what fan reaction is.  

2. The more important thing - I am sure he told Pettis first(after edgar/bendo) that the rematch was happening, and before the massive fan outrage Pettis went ahead and went under the knife or at least let them know he was going to do the surgery etc.  Now it almost doesnt matter if White wanted to back out of the fight.

I personally will be making my annoyance with an unneeded rematch by not purchasing the ppv. I am a huge Bendo fan but the fight holds almost no interest for me.  It is within my right to not purchase it, as it will be in others who believe a rematch was in order to make their purchase.

If Dana White comes out sand says that he would have backed out of the rematch if Pettis was not injured I will reconsider.

Finally - for the immature dopes who's first thought is "oh like the ufc even needs your 50 bucks for the ppv!!" thats not really the point and you should educate yourself before posting on the interwebz ever again.

edub001 on Mar 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm ET
"I think you're wrong.  The reaction I've seen is mostly negative to yet another rematch involving Frankie Edgar."

Where have you seen this reaction? MMA Junkie? Other MMA websites? Because the UFC doesn't care at all about what any independent site's reaction is to the matter. The UFC learned back in the early part of last decade (and rightly so) that hardcore fan reaction to matchmaking is completely different than what the "casual" fan's opinions are on the subject. For instance, the reaction to the rematch here or Sherdog wouldn't even make the marketing heads at Zuffa bat an eyelash...

I do not know this for sure, but I would hazzard a guess than plenty of folks on the UFC website and Twitter made comments about a rematch.

The "massive outrage" as you put it pails in comparison fights that had real outrage like Lesnar-Couture and Hardy-GSP.

By all means skip the fight. That is your right as a consumer.

opl3sa on Mar 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm ET
He never said he was skipping the fight.  He said he wasn't going to buy the PPV

Twostrikes on Mar 22, 2012 at 2:00 am ET
I can only speak for the websites/forums/outlets I frequent - here, sherdog, ufc's facebook page and twitter account and a few other places etc.  I actually think the media websites did not really report on fan reaction at all.  The ufc facebook page was the first place I voiced my opinion and it appeared to me at least that I was not in the minority.  Who knows though - as you say it is tough to gauge true fan reaction. I think the rematch was done based solely on the fact that Edgar had been "forced" to rematch Penn when it should never had taken place.  I am not a believer in immediate rematches to begin with except under extraordinary circumstances - such as an actual draw as in the Maynard fight.  Penn only got a rematch because of his name and star power.  If rematches were handed out for close fights every ufc card would have multiple immediate rematches on them and title fights in all divisions would regularly have them. . 

TheSkilledWon on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm ET
Hardy was on a 12 fight winning streak, mostly finishes, and he derailed the would be next contender which was mike swick...sure, in hindsight he looks like a scrub, but at that time he was a worthy challenger...

Maia was a last minute replacement for Belfort...dont you recall Belfort pulling out of UFC 112 like 1-2 weeks prior to the event? would you have preferred they scrap the entire main event? cmon now...thats silly

Rampage also got his title fight due to evans being injured, then jones being injured, and evans being booked for another fight and jones then not requiring surgery on his hand...timing and injuries made this happen...

these are 3 pretty bad examples considering the circumstances surrounding why these fights happened...

the LW title isnt on hold...diaz/miller winner was announced as being next in line...would you prefer bendo sit out 7 months and wait for those 2 to fight and set up a title fight OR would you prefer him to fight someone in the meantime and STILL fight the diaz/miller winner? either way you slice it, diaz/miller gets next fight...nothing is held up...many believe edgar won against hendo and many more feel since it was a close, entertaining fight, since edgar gave 2 rematches, why should he get the same courtesy? 

as for AS/Sonnen, sonnen lost fair and square but he also gave AS the biggest run for his money in the UFC and in a cleaned out division void of any legitimate contenders, many people, sonnen fans and haters wanna see that fight again...its easily the biggest MW fight in MMA and its not even close...

Juves4783 on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm ET
i still don't think pettis is deserving of the next title shot.  beating stephens and lauzon are a nice couple wins, but those guys aren't on the same level as gray maynard, clay guida, sean sherk or jim miller.  i would like to see him fight one of those guys or even someone like evan dunham or gleison tibau before they give him a title shot.  and if the argument is that he beat ben henderson back in the wec days, well that was a different bendo that seemed uncomfortable on his feet.  i think bendo would roll through him.

Twostrikes on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:34 am ET
Pettis is something like 6-1 in his last 7 fights.  Nate Diaz, if he wins, will be 4-3 at lightweight in his last 7 fights.

One of Pettis' win includes a win over Ben Henderson.  So his last 2 fights aren't as top level as Henderson...but he BEAT henderson.  Bring up Guda is an on-starter since Nate Diaz lost to Guida to - so if Diaz beats Miller is he disqualified for losing to guida?

Twostrikes on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:34 am ET
Pettis is something like 6-1 in his last 7 fights.  Nate Diaz, if he wins, will be 4-3 at lightweight in his last 7 fights.

One of Pettis' win includes a win over Ben Henderson.  So his last 2 fights aren't as top level as Henderson...but he BEAT henderson.  Bring up Guda is an on-starter since Nate Diaz lost to Guida to - so if Diaz beats Miller is he disqualified for losing to guida?

Vitooch on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm ET
Why does he even deserve the title shot after beating Stephens and Lauzon? Neither guy is even a top 10 LW.

bruno_sardine on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm ET
He inherited the title shot by beating Bendo for the WEC title, but then slipped up vs Guida.  I guess based on the circumstances, the UFC figures he only needs to semi-work his way up compared to normal contenders starting from scratch.

MarcP on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm ET
Because Pettis landed his memrable "Mandingo warrior kick"on Benson Hendersons Face and took His WEC LW title!!! If Pettis beat Hendo that would be his 2nd belt he took from Bendo. Thats why.

Twostrikes on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:36 am ET
As opposed to Edgar not working his way back up at all after losing the title.  Pettis is 6-1(or 7-1) in his last 7 or 8 fights. Nate Diaz with a win will be 4-34 in his last 7 lw fights.  One of Pettis' win is over Ben Henderson.  Both lost to Guida.  Why would 4-3 Diaz deserve a shot over 7-1 pettis?

TeaTownCowboy on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm ET
You need to stay abreast more on MMA, dude, LOL.

Vitooch on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm ET
What the **** are you talking about?

He CHOSE to fight Guida instead of waiting for his title shot. Since he lost, he should now have to work his way up the ladder in order to truly deserve a UFC title shot. 


TeaTownCowboy on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm ET
He loses a close dec to a top guy and he's got to start all over, even after beating a couple of top 20 type dudes?  Yeah, righttttttttttt.

TheSkilledWon on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm ET
ummm yeah...of course...WTF r u talking about? maybe not the from the absolute bottom, obviously, but he certainly needs to beat a top 10 guy before getting a title shot...obviously the UFC agrees because hes apparently not getting the title shot right away...

edub001 on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm ET
Joe Lauzon could have easily been considered a top 10 LW after subbing out Melvin who was close to top 5 at the time.

Not to say this means he was definitely deserving, but he probably would have gotten the shot if there wasn't enough fan action online about a Edgar-Henderson rematch.

TeaTownCowboy on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm ET
I guess you have some memory issues from all the crack you've been smoking, lol.  OK, that's joke...but seriously, did he or did he not beat Bendo who is now the champion???  It was close, being a Bendo fan I thought he edged it out but I'm not gonna argue because of the spectacular kick at the end sealed it for most people.  That counts a HECK OF A LOT more than losing around the same time to Stun Gun but I can tell you're a Diaz fan. ; )


lcl31 on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm ET
i dont know why people are talking about pettis getting the next shot, the next shot at the belt should go to the winner of the miller v diaz fight anyway and pettis should have to fight again as i dont think he's done enough to warrant a shot, beating stephens and lauzon does not warrant a crack at the belt, if barboza beats dunham then pettis v barboza no.1 contender.

TeaTownCowboy on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm ET
You must be a serious UFC nuggethugger....Pettis has already been a world champ and would destroy Diaz or Miller and I don't even consider myself a Pettis fan.  I do appreciate his skills though, while you obviously are a hater.

Vitooch on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm ET
Saying he would destroy Diaz or Miller is such a assumption that many would not agree with. They are definitely both winnable fights for him, but Miller and Diaz are both very formidable. 

TeaTownCowboy on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm ET
Nate's 2-2 in his last four fights.  By all means, let's get that guy a title shot, LOL.

WillFightForFood on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm ET
I agree...and I don't even like Nate but to be fair he won his last 2 fights...the 2 he lost were WW.  And if he beats Miller, that's 3 in a row in a tough LW division over some tough guys.  I wouldn't have a problem with him getting a shot if he beats Miller.  Because I also think Miller should get a shot if he wins and if Nate beats him, then...

shagnasty on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm ET
The difference between Pettis, Miller, Diaz and Edgar? He's beaten the current Champ. No controversy nothing. Of course he's higher ranked than Diaz, and maybe Miller.  He probably should have faced Miller anyways.

505rep on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm ET
You must spend a lot of time hugging your own nuts. To say Pettis would destroy Miller after watching the Pettis/Guida fight is just wrong. Thanks for playing, please try again. Also you forgot to point out that Nate lost to RoryMac and Kim at WW, before his current two fight win streak at LW. I don't think either Nate or Miller is #1 contender at the moment. But if either can match Pettis' performance against Lauzon in their fight I'd have to reconsider. There are a bunch of guys near the top at LW, which makes it great. Personally I don't put too much into belts.

505rep on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm ET
Goddamn, someone stole my carriage returns again.

TeaTownCowboy on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm ET
Nate can't hang w/ anyone who's a decent wrestler, but we'll see.  15-7, any more excuses for that lousy record or you gonna go back and hit Billy Bong Thornton w/ Nate Dogg & Co?

505rep on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:23 am ET
Nate has had trouble with wrestlers, part of that is just how the fights are scored (e.g. Nate/Guida split decision). His game has continued to evolve IMO so we'll see. But of course the point of my post was about Pettis' and your inane comment that only 'UFC*********s' don't think Pettis would destroy Miller. Please insert a coin and play again.

TheSkilledWon on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm ET
i bet you thought pettis would have destroyed guida too until the fight actually happened...

TeaTownCowboy on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm ET
I bet your middle name is ASSume.  I actually wanted and thought Guida would beat his a$$. ; )

Fiasco518 on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm ET
Why should miller get another shot at Bendo after Bendo destroyed him like 2 fights ago? Pettis got screwed out of 2 shots already and has beaten Bendo in the past. There was talk of Lauzon getting a shot if he had beaten Pettis so how does Pettis not deserve the first shot out of all these guys?

TeaTownCowboy on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm ET
At least oner person on here has seen the light! ; )

sdaccount on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm ET
Everything could be simpler if the UFC published their own rankings. However, they will never do that since they would be practically handcuffed to it for making top contender and title matches.

TeaTownCowboy on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm ET
There's a lot of politics and other factors (fan appeal) involved. Dana would never agree to that.

PairFormAnts on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm ET
exactly. the way dana and company have it now is the way it will stay until they are absolutely forced to change. right now, with no ranking system in place (at least a public one), the UFC is allowed to make the best-suited fight for the most money. its all marketing. without a rankings system, they can dictate each and every card and tailor-make it to be the highest revenue generating combination.  #1 contender pretty much means whoever joe silva and dana white says it is.

WillFightForFood on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm ET

edub001 on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm ET
They actually do have a ranking system (of sorts) now. They posted it at the last two free TV events.

Twostrikes on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:40 am ET
I'll be honest - a majority of the title fights the UFC puts together make sense.  Rankings are as subjective as sitting down with a braintrust and determining who has done what to deserve a shot and like it or not making money is important.   The only potentially "fair" ranking system would be to do something similar to Yahoo where you have a fairly large # of people ranking fighters, those fighters getting points for their rank, and then averging it out and ranking it with the averages.  Even then think about how much disagreement over yahoo p4p rankings there are.

xXThaidaXx on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm ET
Very smart move imo. He get's healed to 100% then trains 100%....beast!

ocemaloc on Mar 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm ET

Nobody will ever win the argument of who is the #1 contender at 155. There's way too much competition.

Pettis beat Hendo, Hendo beat Guida, Guida beat Pettis

Miller's only lost 2 fights in the UFC (Hendo - champ and Maynard)

Maynard's had two recent cracks at the title (but he's beaten both Miller and Diaz)

Cerrone just got derailed with his loss to Diaz

Diaz - he's looked good in his last two at 155 - but he's lost to both Maynard and Guida.

And let's not forget poor Melendez who wants nothing more that a shot at the UFC title.

Seriously, no matter what descision was made it was going to be wrong. There's WAY to many implecations at 155 to even begin to try to make sense of it all.

And Edgar and his rematches have just make the pool even messier. Personally, I'm excited to see Edgar vs Bendo II


TeaTownCowboy on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm ET
They should have a tournament, it would seriously pique interest in the best division in MMA.

Twostrikes on Mar 22, 2012 at 2:01 am ET
I'm not for the reasons you gave - there are so many good fighters at the top of 155 that it seems we are missing out on some potentially amazing title fights by giving Edgar an immediate rematch

ocemaloc on Mar 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm ET

I can't help it. I think it was a close fight - and it was a really good fight.

I just can't help but think that Bendo vs Edgar II is going to be epic. Maybe I'm wrong, but we'll find out. Different circumstances obviously, but Edgar vs Maynard III was one of my favorite fights EVER!!! I had always said that Pettis was the #3 in the WEC behind Bendo and Cowboy. I still don't think he's done enough in the UFC to earn the spot.


UFCfightblogger on Mar 22, 2012 at 12:54 am ET
Smart move or Pettis, taking another fight would just mean he might lose his place in line if he loses again. It is better for him to take some time off, heal up, and get ready for a war with the winner of the Henderson/ Edgar rematch. Check out this article about Pettis #

Etienne on Mar 22, 2012 at 8:57 am ET
rematch with Edgar is an awful choice there is  a stack of contenders who have been waiting ages for a shot. Edgar was clearly beat. UFC get your act together you jerks.

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