Lightweight Anthony Pettis snatched the UFC title from Ben Henderson with a first round armbar at UFC 164. He was all set to face Josh Thomson in December at UFC on Fox 9. Unfortunately, last week reports came out that Pettis suffered a knee injury forcing a postponement to his first title defense.
On Thursday, it was revealed that Pettis had torn his PCL in training. "Showtime" said he expected to be out of action for up to six months. However, UFC president Dana White said in a media scrum for UFC 167 the he believes it will be a little longer:
Dana is saying Pettis will def have surgery. Thinks he'll be out around 8 months. Pettis told me he would get one more opinion next week.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 14, 2013
White went on to say they will not be creating an interim title for the Lightweight division. With Pettis out for the better part of a year, the 155 lbers are left in a bit of limbo. With Thomson now without an opponent, it's doubtful the UFC will want him to sit so long waiting for the title shot. Most likely, he'll face T.J. Grant, who was supposed to fight for the title at UFC 164. Grant was expected to face Pettis first, but he was unable to recover from an injury in time. This fight makes the most sense to keep the division moving while the champ is on the bench.