Anthony Pettis' first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight title defense was scheduled for Dec. 14, 2013, against Josh Thomson at UFC on Fox 9 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. The qualifier being "was" because late Sunday (Nov. 10, 2013) night, it was announced that Pettis will not be able to defend his belt next month.
Pettis defeated Ben Henderson at UFC 164 to become the new 155-pound champion. It was a rematch from their bout at WEC 53 for Henderson's World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) lightweight belt. Following UFC Fight Night 32, UFC President Dana White informed mixed martial arts (MMA) media that Pettis was injured, but he expected him to still fight Thomson.
According to Fox Sports, that is no longer the case.
ALSO just now on @FOXSportsLive: The Flyweight championship between @MightyMouseUFC vs. @JoeJitsu will now be the main event at #UFConFOX9.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) November 11, 2013
Pettis may be one of the most dynamic fighters on UFCs roster; however, he's also one of the most injury prone. The good news is that this may be a blessing in disguise for UFC -- Benavidez is something of a hometown draw as a member of Sacramento-based Team Alpha Male.
And with UFC on Fox 10 planned for Chicago in 2014, having Pettis on the card could possibly bring a record turn out.