Pettis injury not severe, faces Grant next

September 3, 2013

MMA Fighting reports that Anthony Pettis will face TJ Grant in his first title defense of the UFC lightweight title. Notably, Dana White made the official announcement on ESPN.

White also announced that Pettis will sit out 7 weeks to nurse a knee sprain suffered in his fight against Benson Henderson. The announcement silences any rumors of an immediate fight with Jose Aldo.

Payout Perspective:

The good news is that Pettis will not have to take a prolonged period of time off. Also, Grant, who seemed like the odd man out even after winning a de facto #1 contender fight, gets his shot. The question is whether this fight will sell a PPV or is it the “co” main event. Pettis is a marketable fighter and the UFC would like to see him defend his title before any thought of an Aldo match.  But, its not clear whether he could headline a PPV at this point in his career.  We’ve seen the likes of Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson unable to provide strong PPV buys.  Arguably, Pettis is only known for his “Showtime Kick” and not much else.

An interesting note here is the fact that White made the announcement on ESPN. With Fox Sports 1 sagging in ratings, shouldn’t the UFC help support the network by making the announcement on Fox Sports Live? Breaking the news on the new network would help viewership. Even if the news was leaked out, White could have made the announcement on FS1 and added more information on the Pettis injury and proposed matchmaking.

6 Responses to “Pettis injury not severe, faces Grant next”

  1. duck on September 3rd, 2013 11:46 PM

    They should have it headline the December Fox card, unlike Benson Henderson, Anthony Pettis has the potential to become the superstar LW hasn’t had since BJ Penn.

  2. Chris on September 4th, 2013 5:31 AM

    Duck its probably too soon for a Dec show but I def think Pettis/Grant in Jan on Fox makes sense.

    They can promote it during the NFL playoffs which gives them a big push. But yeah this is def a FOx level fight and a way to start pushing Pettis as a future star.

    Pettis has the look, personality and fighting style of being flashy and a finisher, something Bendo was not. or it could be co main event on a big card like maybe the SUperbowl card in NJ.

    I expect UFC would like Jones vs Glover on that Superbowl show in NJ so if they doubled up Jones/GLover and Pettis/Grant that would be a great show.

  3. Machiel Van on September 4th, 2013 6:43 AM

    It probably won’t sell PPVs, but it’s good to see Grant get the shot.

  4. aintitthetruth on September 4th, 2013 8:31 AM

    Duck is being a silly goose to put it lightly. You have a lot of nerve putting pettis in the same sentence as superstar and penn. As much as i like penn i wouldn’t even call penn a superstar. legend is the word. the day pettis fights a heavyweight and does well is the day I’m an astronaught.

  5. Chris on September 5th, 2013 7:36 AM

    Nothing Duck said is wrong. he said Pettis has the potential to be star the div hasnt had since BJ.

    and he is right. Pettis has the look, that has edge to him, he has the personality, the style in the cage, the finishing ability and the flash to be a star.

    Doesnt mean he will be but he has the total package to be the first star in the div since BJ lost his belt.

    If he goes out and gets some fights on Fox, smashes Grant and Gilbert and Punk and Healy and gets a super fight with Aldo and wins he could be a real star in the div.

    I can see Pettis/Grant in Jan on Fox, UFC running the showtime kick, the WEC head kick, the Cowboy finish, Lauzon finish, Bendo finish over and over again during NFL playoff commercials.

    He has to win and win impressively but he is the divs first potential star since BJ.

  6. aintitthetruth on September 5th, 2013 8:48 AM

    Duck said superstar. i keep hearing he has the “look”. do you mean he has sex appeal? that’s not a way to get over with a male dominated demo. The demo likes guys like roy nelson. he is fat and unkept and they identify with it.

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