After three straight wins over a trio of the UFC's toughest and most durable lightweights, including a first-round TKO of Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 6 last night, former WEC champion Anthony Pettis is content to wait for a shot at the UFC lightweight belt if a crack at it is set in stone for him.
"If it's a guaranteed title shot, I'm waiting," Pettis said at the event's post-fight press conference. "That's what my goals are. It's one of my goals this year. If it's next, I'm going to wait, get better and get what's mine."
Pettis has been guaranteed a UFC title shot once before. As the last reigning WEC lightweight champion, Pettis was slated to meet the winner of a January 2011 title fight between then champion Frankie Edgar and rival Gray Maynard.
Here is the latest installment for Dana White's UFC on Fox 5 video blog. This episode features stories from Chael Sonnen along with predictions from UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Carlos Condit.
It looks like a potential superfight between Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre will have to wait. Following the pre-fight press conference for UFC on Fox 5, Ariel Helwani tweeted, “Dana just said GSP told him I want Nick Diaz. Dana said that’s probably the fight we’ll make.”
Helwani continued, “Dana said GSP doesn’t ask for much, so he feels like he has to do it. Silva and Hendricks will have to wait. Dana hasn’t told Nick yet, but he is here.”
Johny Hendricks has been adamant about the fact that he will not fight unless it’s for a title shot. Following the reports of GSP-Diaz, Hendricks tweeted, “Yes I will sit out if I don’t get a title shot.”
UFC president Dana White has announced that Ronda Rousey will make her much anticipated UFC debut on February 2013 at UFC 157. The announcement came at the UFC of Fox 5 pre-fight press conference where White noted that Rousey will appear in the main event against Invicta veteran Liz Carmouche.
“In the UFC, February 23rd at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, she’ll be fighting Liz Carmouche and she is the main event,” White said.
While Carmouche stepped up, Cyborg has expressed her interest in the fight after previously stating there was no way she could drop down to 135 lbs. Her stance has changed and it’s still the fight the UFC and Rousey both want.
The UFC just can’t catch a break. Today it was announced that former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin injured his knee and has been forced to withdraw from his bout at UFC 155 against Phil Davis.
Dana White tweeted, “Forrest has MCL tear and ACL strain. 20 cc’s of blood removed from his knee and the saga continues at the UFC!!”
Griffin was originally scheduled to face Chael Sonnen but the fight was scrapped when Sonnen landed a coaching gig alongside Jon Jones on The Ultimate Fighter 17. Shortly after the removal, Phil Davis accepted the fight. No replacement has been named at this time.
Despite reports of The Ultimate Fighter moving Wednesdays, it is now being reported that TUF will air on Tuesdays at 9 PM ET. The news comes from an advertisement in UFC 360 that indicates The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen will debut on Tues, January 22 at 9 PM on FX.
Speaking of TUF 17, Dana White threw up a picture of himself with Mike Tyson on Twitter while watching fights for the upcoming season.
Ivan Menjivar and Urijah Faber will settle some unfinished business at UFC 157 in Anahiem. The two bantamweights originally battled at TKO 24: Eruption and Menjivar was disqualified for kicking a downed opponent. [MMAWeekly]
Dana White has announced via Twitter that Lavar Johnson has suffered a pulled groin and has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming bout with Brendan Schaub. No replacement has been announced at this time.
Earlier this week, White pleaded with UFC on Fox 5 fighters saying, “It’s tough to keep a card together. What have we got like a week and a half to go? I want to say to all the guys, tone your training down a little bit. Let’s not get anybody injured this last week and a half.”
UFC on Fox 5 is slated for December 8 and features a UFC lightweight championship bout between Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz. The stacked undercard includes Rory MacDonald vs. BJ Penn, Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and Matt Brown vs. Mike Swick.
Update, 11:33 PM: MMA Fighting is reporting that the UFC will not seek a replacement for Johnson meaning Schaub will no longer appear on the card.
The UFC has announced that welterweight contenders Jon Fitch and Demian Maia will lock horns at UFC 156. UFC president Dana White said, “Maia hopes to move up the welterweight rankings by taking out perennial contender Fitch. Fitch wants to build on his Fight of the Night-winning victory over Erick Silva." [UFC]
Despite earlier reports of The Ultimate Fighter being moved to Wednesday nights on FX, a FX official has stated that it’s highly unlikely TUF will air on Wednesday nights. An official announcement is expected to come within the next two or three weeks. [MMA Fighting]
The injury bug continues to wreak havoc on the UFC as Eddie Yagan and Gray Maynard join Shane Carwin as the next group fighters to withdraw from upcoming bouts.
Yagan was forced to pull out of his fight with Dennis Siver after he was hospitalized with swelling around his brain. According to the report, Yagan returned home following a training session and after suffering from a headache and vomiting, Yagan went to the ER and was subsequently hospitalized. Yagan’s doctor stated that he didn’t feel that surgery was necessary and that the swelling should go down in the next few days. Nam Phan will replace Yagan and face Siver at UFC on FX 5. [MMAWeekly]
In other news, Joe Lauzon announced on Facebook that Maynard was injured and his new opponent would be Jim Miller. No details were released regarding Maynard’s injury.