With one simple Tweet UFC President Dana White just crapped all over our Friday:
Pettis hurt his knee, Korean Zombie will now face Jose Aldo for the title on the Aug card in Rio Brazil.
— danawhite (@danawhite) June 14, 2013
The No. 2 ranked lightweight in the world, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (16-2) was all set to make his featherweight debut in an immediate title shot against UFC 145-pound reigning champion Jose Aldo (22-1) at UFC 163 on Aug. 3 in Brazil.
A torn meniscus has foiled Pettis’ UFC featherweight title dreams, at least for now. Filling in for Pettis will be No. 4 ranked featherweight, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (13-3), who was already in training for a scheduled bout against No. 2 ranked Ricardo Lamas (13-2) that was to take place at UFC 162 on July 6.
Being that Lamas is actually higher ranked that Jung, it is not known why Jung was picked to fill in for the title bout against Aldo over him. It could very well have to do with Jung’s popularity with the fans and his excitement level in the Octagon.
Jung has 25,000+ followers on Twitter, while Lamas has 7,000+.
Since “The Korean Zombie” made the move to the UFC from the WEC in 2011, he has won three straight fights over the likes of Leonard Garcia, Mark Hominick and Dustin Poirier. His win over Garcia earned him “submission of the night” and “submission of the year” for 2011. His win over Hominick earned him “knockout of the night” and his win over Poirier earned him “fight of the night” and “submission of the night”.
In Lamas’ four fights inside the UFC Octagon, he holds wins over Matt Grice, Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch. His only decision was against Hioki (unanimous) and he won “submission of the night” against Swanson.
As far as what is next for Anthony Pettis, it is not yet clear. Remember he originally dropped down to featherweight and took the fight with Aldo so he didn’t have to wait around for his guaranteed title shot at lightweight. So what happens now — will he return to lightweight or still try to take a shot at the featherweight crown?
There were those in the 145 pound division who didn’t feel it was fair Pettis was leap-frogging the top contenders in the division for an immediate title shot — so in a sense, they at least may feel some vindication here.
But it’s very unfortunate Pettis’ will have to wait for his shot at UFC gold and will likely be on the bench until sometime next year. But whether at 145 or 135, the 26-year-old Milwaukee fighter promises to be back:
— Anthony Pettis (@Showtimepettis) June 14, 2013