Once again, Anthony Pettis has fallen injured and will not be able to answer the bell for an upcoming fight. This time, Myles Jury is the opponent left without a dance partner, and the diminished event is UFC on Fox 16, scheduled for July 25 in Chicago.
Fortunately for fight fans, UFC officials quickly secured a replacement. High-octane striker Edson Barboza will step in for Pettis and have the presumed benefit of a reasonably long camp for preparation.
Fox Sports Live initially reported the news, and Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie.com subsequently provided more details.
The culprit this time for Pettis (18-3) was an elbow injury. Though Jury (15-1) vs. Barboza (15-3) presents an exciting lightweight bout in its own right, it is a step down from anything involving Pettis, an electrifying striker who held the UFC lightweight title for 18 months before losing by decision in March to current champ Rafael dos Anjos.
And it's another plot point on a longer graph line for Pettis, who for one reason or another is among the UFC's most injury-prone fighters. Since joining the UFC in 2011, he has only managed to fight seven times, or an average of about 1.4 times per year.
A 2013 fight with featherweight champ Jose Aldo was scuttled when Pettis suffered a major knee injury. Another knee injury kept him out of a bout with Josh Thomson later that year.
In 2014, additional cage time was minimized by Pettis' commitments to coaching on The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 opposite Gilbert Melendez, whom Pettis defeated when they finally locked horns.
Pettis' home training camp, Roufusport in Milwaukee, has come under scrutiny lately after the death of one of its fighters, Dennis Munson. Claims of bullying and disorganization may be undermining a culture of safety in the gym, critics claim. Coach Duke Roufus and others have rejected those criticisms.
There was no immediate information available on the nature of Pettis' treatment options or a timetable for his return.