After his first-ever Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title defense against Josh Thomson was postponed due to injury, Anthony Pettis will now play the waiting game to see just how long he'll be out of action.
And it could be for a very long time.
According to a report on UFC Tonight, "Showtime" could be sidelined for up to six months if the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury he suffered during his UFC 164 title fight against Ben Henderson last August, which he then completely tore during training, requires surgery.
"He partially tore his PCL when he fought Ben Henderson. He's completely tore his PCL in training recently. He's gone to see three different doctors and he's still going to see one more to determine if he needs surgery. If he doesn't, he'll be out for eight weeks, but if he does, he'll be out for four to six months. He could be out for a long time."
Prior to his showdown against "Smooth," Pettis suffered a knee injury which forced him out of his featherweight title fight against 145-pound division kingpin Jose Aldo. He bounced back from that setback two months later to force Henderson to tap in their lightweight title fight in the very first round in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Hopefully "Showtime" -- whose injury may have drawn the ire of Nate Diaz -- will have a quick turnaround this time, as well. UFC President Dana White, however, insists Pettis will "definitely" need surgery, according to comments he made to MMA Fighting:
"He's definitely going to need surgery. It's just one of those things. Gotta get him healed here and see what happens."
Thomson is not expected to wait for his return.
In Pettis' absence, a flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger Joseph Benavidez has been bumped from the upcoming Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 finale and will now serve as the new UFC on FOX 9 headliner on Dec. 14, 2013, from The Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.
So, is it too early to start talking about an interim title?