If you watched UFC 161 last night, I am truly sorry for you. The card was bad on paper, and somehow worked out to being even worse than expected. The most significant development of the evening took place not in the cage, but on the post fight show after the fact. What, you didn't watch it?
Anthony Pettis came onto the post fight show on Fuel with the following announcement:
I can be 100-percent ready to fight Benson Henderson in Milwaukee. With all due respect to TJ Grant, Milwaukee is my town and the fight with Ben is the fight everyone has wanted for years. If it works out, great; if not, I will get my shot very soon. But I think we all know which fight the fans want to see and the entire city of Milwaukee!
Dana White responded, not so optimistic that Pettis can be ready to fight that soon.
Anthony Pettis' knee is not bad, but it's not good. He doesn't require surgery, but he's going to have to go into therapy.
White also said he was going to have Pettis flown out to Vegas for a second opinion from Dr. Steven Saunders before making any decisions regarding his next fight. There have been different time frames mentioned for the recovery time for Pettis, and approaching the situation with caution is probably a good idea.
Okay, let me stop here for a minute. I hate to say this, because I am a big fan of Anthony Pettis, but him requesting to be inserted into this title fight is a slap in the face to TJ Grant and one of the bigger signs of disrespect I have seen from on fighter to another as of late. I know this fight is in Pettis' hometown of Milwaukee, but the only reason he isn't on this card is that he didn't want to wait to fight Benson Henderson. He made a choice, and now he thinks TJ Grant should be the person to suffer the consequences?
The UFC was nice enough to acquiesce to the request from Pettis for a title fight at 145 pounds against Jose Aldo, despite the fact that he had never fought at that weight in his career and would be cutting in front of a number of deserving contenders (Korean Zombie, Ricardo Lamas, Cub Swanson). The UFC gave an inch, now "Showtime" is trying to take a mile.
This title fight is already booked. If Pettis was trying to step in for an injured opponent, then that would be great. But it takes a serious lack of perspective to try and alter an already scheduled title fight because he got hurt and missed his shot.
TJ Grant is 5-0 in the UFC at 155 pounds, while Pettis is 3-1. Grant is coming off a shocking total destruction of Gray Maynard and has not lost since 2010. For him to get pulled from this fight to suit the whims of Anthony Pettis would be an absolute sham, and would do a disservice to the credibility of the sport. Anthony, you ask for next. You don't tell somebody to get off the court (or cage in this instance). That's just not right.