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Anthony Pettis: 'I expected Thomson would get the shot'

With T.J. Grant out of the picture for now. UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will now meet Josh Thomson. And the champ believes it's a favorable matchup for him.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another new title fight. It was expected that new UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis would make his first title defense against T.J. Grant, but the Canadian fighter wouldn't be fully recovered from his concussion in time to take the fight in December, which is when the UFC wants the fight to happen. Instead, former Strikeforce champ Josh Thomson was called in to replace Grant and he'll meet Pettis at UFC on Fox 9. In a brief interview with MMA Fighting, the champ said that he wasn't surprised about Thomson getting the fight:

"I already expected that Thomson would get the shot," Pettis told through his jiu-jitsu coach Diego Moraes. "I know TJ would've been a tough fight, and I feel for him, but I will be prepared (for Thomson)."

He also stated that he likes the matchup, and that he has some prior experience training with his opponent:

"It's a different game, but he's a striker so it's a good match-up for us," he said. "We've trained jiu-jitsu together once in Hawaii, so I know what he can bring to the fight."

The fight will headline the Fox card, which takes place on December 14th in Sacramento.

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