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Tag: Anthony Pettis

Injury Updates: Pettis Hoping for Early July Return, Bisping Possibly Facing Additional Layoff


(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…

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The Nine Most Disappointing Debuts in UFC History


(Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

Tomorrow night in Georgia, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold returns to the Octagon for the first time since having his face kicked into space by Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 8 last May. Although Belfort was coming off a blistering head kick KO of Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7, many were still picking and betting on Rockhold to defeat “The Phenom” in his UFC debut, and the betting line surprisingly closed as a pick ‘em.

Things didn’t go Rockhold’s way that night, to say the least. In hindsight it’s not such a bad loss considering what Belfort did to iron-chinned Dan Henderson in his next bout, but it was still incredibly disappointing for the highly-touted Californian to be knocked out in less than five minutes when — on paper at least — the fight with Belfort should have been much more competitive.

Of course, Rockhold isn’t the first UFC fighter who fell short of expectations in his Octagon debut. The question is, will he rebound in his second fight, or fall deeper into “bust” territory? Read on for our list of eight other fighters who didn’t live up to the hype in their first UFC appearances, and let us know if we’ve left out any notable disappointments.

Ben Rothwell

(Photo via Getty)

After the IFL collapsed, the promotion’s former heavyweight champion Ben Rothwell made his way over to the UFC and debuted against fast-rising contender Cain Velasquez at UFC 104. Although Rothwell’s aura of invincibility had been cracked by Andrei Arlovski’s limbs at Affliction: Banned the previous summer, there was still hope that he could get back to his winning ways and make a run for the UFC heavyweight title.

But against Velasquez, it was clear that Rothwell was thoroughly outclassed by a far superior mixed martial artist, and “Big Ben” suffered the second true knockout loss of his career. In hindsight, it’s not surprising that Rothwell couldn’t hang with Velasquez, the current UFC heavyweight champion, but at the time it was a harsh reality check for those hardcore MMA fans who believed in Rothwell after his IFL run.

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The Most Important Lesson MMA Needs to Learn: Shooting Jesse James Doesn’t Make You Jesse James


(Photo via Getty)

The new guard’s success in the Octagon might not translate to success in the box office, much to the detriment of the UFC’s future.

There’s no doubt that in terms of skill, the new generation of fighters is superior. Chris Weidman beat Anderson Silva twice without ever being in danger. Jon Jones is ten times the fighter any previous light heavyweight champ ever was. The recently arrived era of fighters are to the previous era what the previous era was to old time greats like Mark Coleman. There’s a skill disparity; MMA has evolved.

However, just because the new breed has more aptitude, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have more drawing power. The old guard, through their battles on the early TUF seasons, Spike TV and various PPVs, brought the UFC from fringe-level oddity status (think FX Toughman or Slamball) to global sports powerhouse—complete with a network TV deal and a burgeoning international audience. The UFC’s current crew simply can’t carry the company into growth like this in 2014 and onward.

It’s no secret that the UFC’s numbers haven’t been stellar lately. Despite having more exposure than ever before, 2013′s ceiling is looking a bit like 2008/9′s floor.

Will the new faces be able to reverse the UFC’s decline in popularity? If not, will they at least be able to help the UFC tread water until the storm is weathered?

The lighter, male, weight classes won’t, for starters. It’s widely-known that they don’t draw well. MMA’s casual fan—the guy who does bench presses in the squat rack and needs skulls on everything he owns—hears 125-pounds and immediately (wrongly) thinks “Fuck watching a fighter I can throw through the wall.”

It’s too early to tell whether the new generation of greats from lightweight, welterweight, or middleweight, or even the females will produce a “future of the company”/”franchise athlete”/choose your buzzword.

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Interview: Duke Roufus Discusses GLORY, The Pettis Brothers, And the Chaotic Art of Striking


(Roufus [at far left] with Sergio Pettis, Anthony Pettis, Ben Askren, and Roufusport BJJ coach Daniel Wanderley. Photo via Dave Mandel/Sherdog.)

By Elias Cepeda

Duke Roufus had an illustrious career as a kickboxer before becoming even more well-known as an MMA coach. In recent years, his highly regarded Roufusport camp has produced such talents as UFC champion Anthony Pettis, his younger brother Sergio, and former Bellator champ Ben Askren. In advance of the Glory 13 event in Tokyo this Saturday that Roufus is doing color commentary for, CagePotato sat down with him to look back on the twists and turns of his career, and look towards the future of some of his biggest stars.

CAGEPOTATO.COM: What would you say your role with Glory is, Duke? We hear and see you doing color commentary during events but when you were in Chicago last fall, you also had a big presence in all sorts of other pre-event activities.

DUKE ROUFUS: Well, about ten years ago they had me do color commentary for K-1 on pay-per-view broadcasts. This was really a natural progression when they came back with Glory. My role is that of a color commentator but I’m also just a huge kickboxing enthusiast. I love the sport. I’m just as big a fan as a participant.

We’ve always heard Joe Rogan talk about “K-1 level striking” in certain UFC fighters — meaning that a particular guy had great striking, so much so that he could survive in K-1, which was recognized as the top kickboxing promotion in the world. Has Glory replaced K-1 in that role?

Yeah, for sure. K-1 just struggled internally. Japanese kickboxing and MMA have had some internal issues. The guys from Glory have really stepped up. They are also huge kickboxing enthusiasts. Now, all the best fighters are fighting for Glory. We also did something similar to what MMA did with unified rules, and we’ve tried to set that up for kickboxing. We want to make it a fan-friendly fight. The fans can really tune in and enjoy the fights. We created a rule set that makes it fun for the fan.

As an expert kickboxer and one who knows Muay Thai so well, don’t you think that the Glory rules could be better, though? You have many fighters who have trained and competed under full Muay Thai rules — using elbows, using the clinch, using sweeps — and now they get to this point and they’re not allowed to use these effective weapons.

Well, with those things allowed, the tournaments would have a different outcome, that’s for sure. There would be more cuts from elbows and so more guys wouldn’t be able to move on in the tournament. And clinching is how you defend not getting elbowed.

The uneducated fan boos when the clinch happens. Uneducated MMA fans do the same thing when Jiu Jitsu happens in a fight. I understand clinching and the art of it. I understand trips and dumps. Unfortunately here in America, people want to see big punches and big kicks. It can be difficult to understand Muay Thai. Even the scoring is a little difficult to follow. Kickboxing is very similar to boxing. That makes it easy to follow.

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Friday Link Dump: Chael Asks Anderson to Be His Assistant Coach on TUF, Velasquez and Pettis Post-Surgery Photos, Male Athletes Wearing Makeup + More


(“In Klong Prem high-security prison in Bangkok, inmates box outsiders for money, shorter sentences, and the greater glory of Thailand.” Crazy stuff, via Fightland/VICE)

Chael Sonnen Officially Invites Anderson Silva to Be an Assistant Coach on TUF: Brazil (MMAFighting)

Video: UFC Champ Jon Jones Sings a Selfie-Song About Getting His Driver’s License Back (MMAJunkie)

Cain Velasquez’s Shoulder Surgery Went Well… (Instagram)

…And So Did Anthony Pettis’s Knee Surgery (Instagram)

Dana White: Fabricio Werdum Will Fight Winner of UFC 168 Bout Josh Barnett vs. Travis Browne (BloodyElbow)

Shane Del Rosario’s Family Will Donate His Organs, Plans to Create a Foundation (BleacherReport)

Muhammad Ali Dodges 21 Punches in 10 Seconds (Break)

The Dumbest Sports Fan Comments on the Internet This Week (Complex)

Yeah Bitch! 15 Awesome Breaking Bad Gifts for Fans (HiConsumption)

If Male Athletes Wore Makeup (20 PHOTOS) (WorldWideInterweb)

25 Ways to Get Yourself Bigger (MensFitness)

The 8 Worst Christmas Sweaters Ever Invented (DoubleViking)

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UFC on FOX 9 is Officially Cursed: Injured Matt Brown Out of Fight With Carlos Condit


(If only the discs in Brown’s back could’ve been “immortal” too. / Photo via Getty)

We don’t want to freak you out, but curses are real. Our last five posts about UFC on FOX 9 have all been injury related. Our sixth post about the event is worst of all: Matt Brown is out of his fight with Carlos Condit due to a back injury.

The best fight left on the card after a series of injuries ravaged it is gone now. If you’re not keeping score, here’s a rundown of how injury-plagued this fight card has been:

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Anthony Pettis Wants to Fight Nate Diaz After Recovering From Knee Surgery


(Before he was champion, Anthony’s entire life was devoted to training. Now he’s out every night, partying with cool badger statues. I’m just saying, the belt changes you. / Photo via Getty)

Though he was hoping to avoid surgery to repair a torn posterior cruciate ligament (aka “knee thingy”), UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will indeed go under the knife next Thursday. Pettis explained yesterday on UFC Tonight that he is looking at a 6-8 month recovery period, and when he returns to action, he wants his first title defense to be against Nate Diaz — not TJ Grant (thank God), not the winner of Ben Henderson vs. Josh Thomson*, not Khabib Nurmagomedov, or Gilbert Melendez, or anybody else who might deserve it more than a guy who just snapped a two-fight losing streak.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t Nate’s one-round blitzkrieg of Gray Maynard at the TUF 18 Finale that convinced Pettis that Diaz is worthy of a title shot — it was what Diaz said in his post-fight interview.

“Nate Diaz has been talking so much and in his last fight, he actually looked pretty decent, but it’s harder to judge against Gray Maynard,” Pettis said on UFC Tonight. “I hope Nate works his way up so we can fight…Nate’s been talking for a while. Even after his last fight, saying ‘this is the No. 1 and No. 2 lightweights in the world.’ That’s taking a shot directly at me. That belt’s in my front room. It’s there for a reason.”**

In classic Diaz fashion, Nate responded on twitter by saying that Pettis needs to work his way up for a fight against Nate Diaz. (#stocktonlogic) Though Pettis seems to think that Diaz should keep fighting and winning before an eventual title-fight showdown, Diaz would rather skip that part entirely. In case you missed it, he made a startlingly wise statement about the subject during the TUF 18 Finale’s post-fight press conference last Saturday:

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ICYMI: Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson Booked for UFC on FOX 10 Headliner


(Hastily thrown-together poster via FansofUFConFOX)

In the midst of all the panic and fury surrounding UFC 167‘s aftermath, a rather notable fight-booking completely slipped past us. Apparently, Josh Thomson and Benson Henderson are fighting in the main event of UFC on FOX 10 (January 25th, Chicago). I had no idea. I found this out randomly today while reading one of Crooklyn’s interviews on BloodyElbow, in which Thomson describes his match-up with Henderson as “like looking in a mirror” and suggests that Anthony Pettis doesn’t really need surgery for his PCL tear.

This will be Henderson’s first fight since losing his UFC lightweight title to Pettis in August — and marks his return to FOX, the channel that didn’t quite make him a star. As for Thomson, he’s been on ice since his TKO of Nate Diaz in April, and was supposed to fight Pettis for the belt next month at UFC on FOX 9 before Showtime pulled out.

With TJ Grant’s return still in question, the winner of this fight would seem poised for a title shot. Your predictions, please.

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Anthony Pettis Hoping to Avoid Knee Surgery That Could Sideline Him Up to Six Months


(Unfortunately, the human body’s ligaments simply weren’t designed to handle this much #SWAG. / Photo via showtimepettis)

After tearing his PCL during his UFC 164 title win against Benson Henderson, UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis spent two months rehabbing the injury. As you’ve probably heard by now, that hasn’t really solved the problem.

“The first time I came back (to train in the gym) I got a light kick in the shin and it swelled up real bad,” Pettis told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Pettis was forced to scrap his UFC on FOX 9 title defense against Josh Thomson to have his knee issues resolved, but it’s been rough going so far. He’s already had three different doctors give him three different recommendations, and he’s getting a fourth opinion next week in Los Angeles. If that fourth doctor recommends surgery, that will likely be his course of action.

“Most doctors don’t operate on PCLs, so no one has a clear answer at this point,” Pettis said. “I’m going to L.A. after my brother’s fight to get another opinion. If I do need surgery, the time frame is four to six months off. If we decide to rehab, it’s another four to six weeks. I’m hoping for no surgery, but I don’t want this to be something that keeps happening…I’m trying to figure out the right steps now. My biggest fear is that I give it four to six weeks (of rehab) and then the same thing happens.”

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Anthony Pettis Out of UFC on FOX 9 Main Event With Knee Injury; Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 Named as New Headliner


(Pettis perfectly executes an off-the-cage “Showtime Gloat.” / Photo via Getty)

Over the weekend, UFC president Dana White revealed that lightweight champion Anthony Pettis had suffered a knee injury in training, but was still expected to defend his belt against Josh Thomson in the main event of UFC on FOX 9 (December 14th, Sacramento). “He’s going to fight,” White said. “For sure.”

Well, not really. UFC officials announced last night that Pettis has pulled out of the match. We have no details on the nature or severity of Showtime’s injury at this time, or if it’s related to the knee injury that pushed Pettis out of UFC 163 back in June. We’ll keep you posted.

The UFC plans to re-book Pettis vs. Thomson when the champ is recovered, but you never know with these things. Thomson was already the second choice for Pettis’s UFC on FOX 9 opponent after TJ Grant had to stay sidelined due to concussion. If Grant is healthy by the time Pettis is, the UFC might just do Pettis vs. Grant like they had originally planned. Meanwhile, Josh Thomson’s immediate future is in limbo, and the famously cursed fighter just saw the biggest opportunity of his career go up in smoke. [Ed. note: We'll start working on his illustrated timeline.]

Pettis’s injury has led to new main events for two upcoming cards…

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