Anthony Pettis became the 2nd new UFC champion of 2013 (Chris Weidman is obviously the other), and while an immediate rematch for Weidman against Anderson Silva was never really in question the future of Pettis' first defense was. Pettis called out Jose Aldo in the post-fight interview following his submission of Ben Henderson, and it's a fight that was scheduled to happen at UFC 163 before Pettis' knee injury forced him out. But would the UFC grant his wish, or have him fight T.J. Grant, the man he replaced in the lightweight title fight? According to Dana White (via MMA Fighting), Pettis will take on Grant:
UFC president Dana White confirmed to MMAFighting.com on Tuesday that Grant (21-5) will meet newly-minted 155-pound champion Anthony Pettis (17-2) in Pettis' next fight. Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole first tweeted the news.
White said a superfight between Pettis and Jose Aldo was never seriously considered because Grant "was next."
Grant (21-5) suffered a concussion in training while preparing for Henderson. The Canadian is undefeated (5-0) at lightweight, and sealed a title shot with a dominant knockout of Gray Maynard at UFC 160. He later tweeted the following:
As great as Pettis vs. Aldo could be, it's good that the UFC didn't delay or essentially force Grant to re-earn a title shot. Him vs. Pettis also has plenty of potential to be an exciting bout and it should be an interesting one to watch.
Dana White also added on ESPN's SportsCenter that Pettis has a grade II knee sprain, which will not require surgery, and he'll be out for 7-8 weeks. Meanwhile, Grant is out until at least December.