UFC

Pettis injured, but title fight still on

Anthony Pettis
“He’s going to fight,” Dana White said of Pettis. “For sure.”
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.

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GOIANIA, Brazil

UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has suffered a knee injury, although he is still expected to participate as the headliner on the Dec. 14 UFC On FOX 9 card against challenger Josh Thomson.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the news to FOX Sports on Saturday after the UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson event.

“He’s going to fight,” White said. “For sure.”

White did not specify Pettis’ injury, but said Pettis has spent the last two days in Las Vegas, seeing Dr. Steven Sanders, an orthopedist at Bone & Joint Specialists. After examining Pettis, Sanders informed him that no surgery would be necessary to address his problem.

Pettis has had knee trouble before, missing a scheduled UFC 163 match with Jose Aldo. Instead, he moved to UFC 164 and defeated Ben Henderson to win the belt. It is unclear if the injury is a recurrence or something new.

The charismatic and popular 26-year-old champion is 17-2. The UFC On FOX 9 would mark his first attempted title defense. Former Strikeforce titleholder Thomson was moved into the slot after true top contender T.J. Grant was ruled out due to lingering concussion-related issues. Thomson knocked out Nate Diaz in his UFC debut in April.

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