(via Fox Sports.)
Suffice it to say, the past couple years have been injury-plagued (or perhaps even, cursed) ones for the UFC, but especially so for the promotion’s champions and biggest stars. Dominick Cruz has been out of action since Eisenhower was in office, Jose Aldo fought just once in 2012, and Anderson Silva, Anthony Pettis, and Cain Velasquez have all undergone major surgeries recently. Jon Jones is arguably still recovering from his war with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165, as his next title fight with Glover Teixeira has been delayed some three times since initially being announced.
But not all is hopeless; Jones and Aldo both have their next fights lined up, and Cruz and Silva have either vacated their titles or been removed from the title picture, freeing up some space in their respective divisions. And Pettis, who underwent successful knee surgery back in November to fix a torn PCL suffered in his title-earning win over Ben Henderson at UFC 164, expects to be back in action just in time for the UFC’s annual Fourth of July card.
“The doctor said six to eight months, so I’m hoping six months,” Pettis told UFC Tonight yesterday evening. Unfortunately, Cedars-Sinai Medical Group orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Klapper also appeared on the program (video above) and seemed slightly less positive about the lightweight champion’s recovery timetable:
In my opinion, this is about the toughest thing you can come back for. Of all the injuries that can happen to a knee, when you’re talking about the ACL or the meniscus, these are the structures in the front. It’s easy for us as surgeons to get there. When you’re talking about the back of the knee, where the arteries and nerves are, a much trickier area to get to, the results are not as terrific as they are with the structures we rebuild in the front. I would pray for him. Coming back in July? That’s really optimistic.
My God, an injured UFC champion is becoming a more frequent occurrence than a tween star meltdown these days (I’m sorry). At least Pettis has that amazing UFC healthcare to fall back on, whereas Bieber only has enough money to turn major highways into his own private race tracks. I guess it’s not easy growing up anywhere.
Keeping with the string of terrible, injury-related news, UFC Tonight also touched on a potential health issue that could further delay Michael Bisping‘s octagon return. News on that after the jump…
I’d like to think that Michael Bisping’s recent retina issues are the karmatic result of the brash middleweight not only mocking Alan Belcher’s near career-ending eye injury as being the result of “watching too much internet porn” (as if that’s a thing, right guys? GUYS?), but subsequently attempting to blind Belcher in their fight at UFC 159. In any case, it appears that “The Count,” who was all but a lock to fight newest rival Tim Kennedy at the TUF Nations finale barring an eye examination with the UFC’s doctors, could be facing additional complications in the form of a cataract as well.
Although Bisping is set to undergo said eye exams today, UFC Tonight passed along word that the Brit has developed a cataract in his injured right eye that could halt his return. If Bisping passes all the required exams, he should be cleared to fight. If he fails the tests and requires additional surgery, he could be looking at another six weeks out of action. I have to imagine that this will hamper his ability to kick Mark Munoz and Lyoto Machida’s asses at the same time, but then again, I never fought five men on Fedor’s shoulders who was also on Zeus’s shoulders but only Zeus could kick.
I know what you’re thinking: How is Tim Kennedy taking this news?
We will keep you updated on Bisping’s situation as information is made available.