Thing aren't looking good for Anthony Pettis.
While the news regarding the knee injury that forced him out of his scheduled title showdown with Josh Thomson at UFC on Fox 9 broke last week, it appears the injury could be worse than originally diagnosed.
Ariel Helwani reported on UFC Tonight that the rising star's torn PCL could very well require surgery. If that turns out to be the case, Pettis would be sidelined anywhere from four to six months. Helwani also reported the Duke Roufus-trained fighter has consulted three doctors, with a fourth to be visited, and if surgery turns out to be the best option then it is one he will utilize.
The news is undoubtedly disappointing to the Milwaukee native as his rise to the top of the sport continues to be plagued by injury. The 26-year-old spent most of 2012 on the shelf due to a shoulder injury, but made a triumphant return against Donald Cerrone at UFC on Fox 6 back in January where he scored a first-round knockout victory over the former WEC title challenger.
Following his win over "Cowboy," Pettis walked away from the No. 1 contender spot in the lightweight division for a chance to fight featherweight phenom Jose Aldo at UFC 163 in Brazil. Unfortunately for Pettis, he tweaked his knee (opposite from current injury) and was forced out of the fight with the 145-pound king.
Fortune appeared to be smiling on the Milwaukee native several weeks later when an injury to T.J. Grant opened up the spot opposite Benson Henderson at UFC 164 in his hometown. Pettis capitalized on the opportunity as he scored a first-round submission victory over the MMA Lab product and completed his long-sought-after quest of becoming a UFC champion.
With the news of a possible four- to six-month layoff, it is unclear what the UFC will do to keep action in the lightweight division's upper tier moving. The 155-pound collective is one of the most competitive divisions under the UFC banner, and it will be interesting to see how the promotion handles its champion being sidelined well into 2014.