Anthony Pettis could be out up to six months with latest injury

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis suffers knee injury that may require surgery

Since February 2012, Anthony Pettis has spent a total of 8 minutes and 27 seconds inside the Octagon. If the recent news on Pettis is any indication, that total time spent in the Octagon is not going to change in the near future.

According to UFC Tonight, Pettis tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his left leg while training for his UFC on Fox 9 fight against Josh Thomson. The fight, which would have been Pettis' first defense of the UFC lightweight title he took from Benson Henderson on August 31 of this year, had been set to headline the December 14 event.

Pettis is no stranger to injury. The last lightweight champion in WEC history fought three times for the UFC between June 2011 and February 2012. Following that February fight, a first round Knockout of the Night victory over Joe Lauzon, Pettis spent most of 2012 on the shelf following surgery, and a staph infection.

When he did return to action in January 2013 Pettis stopped Donald Cerrone with a liver kick that earned him another Knockout of the Night bonus. Another injury followed that fight. That injury, a torn meniscus lead to Pettis losing a scheduled shot at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.

When Pettis was healthy enough to fight again he was booked to face Henderson at UFC 164. Pettis won that fight by first round submission, taking Henderson's lightweight title and earning Submission of the Night for his armbar stoppage.

Pettis injured his knee during that August 31 fight, and it is that same knee that is presently giving him trouble.

Pettis spoke to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the injury, saying:

I gave it two good months of rehab and the first time I came back (to train in the gym) I got a light kick in the shin and it swelled up real bad.

We're thinking about operating. Most doctors don't operate on PCLs, so no one has a clear answer at this point. I'm going to L.A. after my brother's fight to get another opinion.

If I do need surgery, the time frame is four to six months off. If we decide to rehab, it's another four to six weeks. I'm hoping for no surgery, but I don't want this to be something that keeps happening.

Pettis went on to say that he has already visited several doctors and will get another opinion after he corners his brother Sergio, who is making his UFC debut on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Pettis added that he has the full support of the UFC behind him as he deals with this latest setback:

(UFC president) Dana (White) is very supportive. They see me as being one of their biggest stars and they want me to do the right thing. They're the ones flying me to L.A. and Vegas to get these opinions.

A title fight between flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and No. 1 ranked contender Joseph Benavidez has been moved to the main event slot for UFC on Fox 9. At the same time that announcement was made, the UFC said the Pettis versus Thomson fight would be postponed until a later date.

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