Even though he returned from 15 months off to finally make two title defenses (albeit one unsuccessfully), former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis’ injury woes are apparently far from over.
News came from FOX Sports 1 that Pettis suffered an elbow injury in training and has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled UFC on FOX 16 co-main event bout against Myles Jury.
‘Showtime’s’ manager Mike Roberts and head coach Duke Roufus confirmed that Pettis suffered a torn muscle and ligaments in his elbow during wrestling practice Tuesday. The injury will require surgery, which he will undergo in Las Vegas next Tuesday. The once-prominent champion is expected to be out for four to six months.
Roufus touched on the injury for his oft-absent superstar, noting that it’s usually wrestling and grappling training that results in these kinds of unfortunate situations:
“MMA is a very physically demanding sport,” Roufus said, “especially the wrestling and grappling. Our fighters rarely get an injury from striking that causes a cancellation. It’s the wrestling and grappling.”
Pettis has been replaced by Edson Barboza, but the lightweight scrap lost its co-main event billing. In its place stepped the pivotal women’s bantamweight affair between Miesha Tate and Jessica Eye, which is for the next perceived title shot against Ronda Rousey.
Pettis’ return to prominence is on hiatus yet again, and now there should be a sense of urgency for ‘Showtime,’ as he was battered and beaten by Rafael dos Anjos over the course of five rounds at March’s UFC 185. He had previously finished off two decorated veterans via submission, forcing Gilbert Melendez to tap at last December’s UFC 181 after winning the belt from Benson Henderson with a shocking first round armbar at UFC 164.
Jury also suffered a recent setback, losing his first-ever mixed martial arts (MMA) bout to a one-sided decision versus Donald Cerrone at January’s UFC 182. ‘Fury’ had previously starched Takanori Gomi and outclassed Diego Sanchez, but just wasn’t ready to take on the challenge that the surging Cerrone presented.
He’ll face another dangerous Muay Thai kickboxer in Barboza, who most recently dropped a UFC Fight Night 61 bout to Blackzilian Michael Johnson, a fighter Jury already defeated earlier in their careers. Barboza won two bouts against Bobby Green and Evan Dunham after also losing to Cerrone at UFC on FOX 11.
Taking place July 25 from the United Center in Chicago, UFC on FOX 16 will be headlined by the long-awaited and oft-scheduled bantamweight title rematch between T.J. Dillashaw and Renan Barao.
Now, it appears to also feature a revolving door of talented lightweights who badly need a win after recent disheartening defeats.
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