An injury has forced T.J. Grant off the UFC 164 fight card and stepping in for him is longtime number one contender Anthony Pettis. Pettis will finally get his UFC lightweight title shot against the champion Benson Henderson.
MMASucka.com confirmed the news with sources close to the fight. MMAJunkie.com broke word of the new match-up.
Pettis (16-2) was the final WEC lightweight champion and was expected to fight for the UFC lightweight title on numerous different occasions, however that didn’t come to fruition. In his last bout he obliterated Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 6 with a deadly liver kick to finish the fight early in the first round. He was declared the number one contender in the UFC’s lightweight division. Pettis did not want to wait out for the champ, so he decided to drop to 145-pounds and take on Jose Aldo for the belt. An injury forced him out of the bout and he immediately petitioned for the 155-pound title again.
MMASucka.com spoke with Pettis immediately after this announcement on Friday and he said, “All I can say is I did it once I will do it again!!!!”
At WEC 53 Pettis defeated Henderson to be crowned the WEC lightweight king and he plans on doing the same at UFC 164.
Right after MMAJunkie tweeted out the fight, UFC President Dana White responded with, “Sick fight.”
Henderson (19-2) has been making a case to be on the pound-for-pound top ten list since entering the UFC. Currently on a seven-fight winning streak, the 155lbs. kingpin has been taking on the best in the division and managing to come out on top, most recently against the last Strikeforce LW champ Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7. A dynamic striker with strong wrestling and perhaps the best submission defense in mixed martial arts, the brand new BJJ black belt will be taking on one of the few fighters in his division that are larger than him. Will “Smooth” be able to make it four successful title defenses in a row?
UFC 164 goes down at the BMO Harris Bradley Centre in Milwaukee, WI on August 31st. For more on UFC 164 and other upcoming cards, stay tuned to MMASucka.