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onip69 06-17-2013 11:46 AM

Anthony Pettis wants T.J. Grant's UFC 164 slot against champ Benson Henderson

Anthony Pettis wants T.J. Grant's UFC 164 slot against champ Benson Henderson

Top UFC lightweight contender T.J. Grant better hope Anthony Pettis doesn't get his wish.

Pettis (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who dropped from lightweight to featherweight for a shot at 145-pound champion Jose Aldo (22-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) before a knee injury scrapped their UFC 163 headliner this past week, now wants to return to 155 pounds.

And he wants to take a UFC 164 title shot with lightweight champion Benson Henderson that was promised to Grant (21-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC).

UFC 164 takes place Aug. 31, four weeks after Pettis' planned UFC 163 bout with Aldo in Rio de Janeiro. For Pettis, such a rescheduling would mean a chance to fight in his hometown of Milwaukee, which is home to UFC 164.

"I can be 100 percent ready to fight Benson Henderson in Milwaukee," Pettis claimed in a statement issued to FUEL TV's post-UFC 161 show. "With all due respect to T.J. Grant, Milwaukee is my town, and the fight with Ben is the fight everyone has wanted for years."

However, as ( reported soon after UFC 161, UFC President Dana White doesn't agree with Pettis' claim that he could be ready to fight again by the end of August. Although the injury won't require surgery, he said it won't be a quick layoff.

"He talked to a doctor, and the doctor said he's out for a good six weeks, and he needs a good (physical) therapist, and he needs to get his knee back," White said. "That's what a doctor said. He talked to a therapist in Milwaukee who told him three weeks. I could give a s--t what the therapist in Milwaukee thinks; I'm listening to the doctor. And I'm going to fly him out to Las Vegas to see Dr. (Steven) Saunders, too, for a second opinion."

When Pettis dropped off the UFC 163 card this past week, Chan Sung Jung (13-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) got the fight with Aldo instead. White said he's open to Pettis fighting the Aldo vs. Jung winner – or even the Henderson vs. Grant winner.

"He's definitely in line (at featherweight), but we'll see what happens," White said. "He could do either – he could fight Aldo or he could fight the winner of [Henderson] and T.J. Grant."

Pettis, the WEC's final lightweight champion, earned his UFC title shot following wins over Jeremy Stephens, Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone, the latter two of which earned "Knockout of the Night" awards. However, when champ Henderson was lined up for a title shot with Strikeforce titleholder Gilbert Melendez earlier this year, Pettis opted to move down to featherweight for an immediate title shot instead of waiting.

However, for now, Pettis will go back to the sidelines.

amoosenamedhank 06-17-2013 11:50 AM

I saw them talking about this on maybe the post show? Can't remember.:confused02:

I really like Pettis as a fighter but TJ has earned that shot. It's not TJ's fault Pettis stepped out of his weight class to challenge someone else.

TJ has earned his shot, give it to him.

dlxrevolution 06-17-2013 12:05 PM

As much as I want to see Pettis/Bendo II, Grant has definitely earn the shot against Henderson and proven he's a worthy contender. Pettis is better off letting his injury heal longer anyways.

Canadian Psycho 06-17-2013 12:20 PM

Cool story, Pettis. You chose to bypass a LW title shot and fight Aldo. Now you deal with the consequences.

dvonfunk 06-17-2013 12:23 PM

Pettis' act is really wearing thin. He's got some major entitlement issues. By my count, he's passed up not one, but two cracks at the LW title, so he can wait in line for Bendo. Or Aldo.

Unfortunately, the lure of a Bendo rematch in Pettis' hometown may be too much for the UFC brass to pass up. It's 100% the more marketable headliner.

The conspiracy theorist in me can envision a scenario where the UFC convinces (pays?) Grant to nurse pre-fight "injury," and a medically cleared Pettis replaces him against Bendo. The UFC would then promise Grant a shot at the winner when he's "all healed up." The UFC can then play up the whole "Grant feels snubbed/overlooked because he's always been the rightful #1 contender" angle to sell the next fight. Especially if Pettis beats Bendo.

This scenario just makes better business sense. And the UFC is a business, first and foremost. Is it a little far-fetched? Perhaps... but not really. Although I still think Grant should get the title shot he was promised, I don't care what Pettis thinks.

GDPofDRB 06-17-2013 12:26 PM

No, you lost your place in line Anthony, again.

SM33 06-17-2013 12:34 PM

Don't like this attitude.

UFC_OWNS 06-17-2013 12:38 PM

i love this attitude go get it tony, no one in milwaukee wants to root for bendo or grant

HorsepoweR 06-17-2013 12:42 PM

I am going to watch this card live, and already lost two good fights, so I would much rather watch Pettis fight Henderson. :thumb01:

dlxrevolution 06-17-2013 12:52 PM

Honestly, I'd rather he fight Lamas.

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