UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis was expected to make his first title defense against T.J. Grant, but the injury that forced Grant out of his UFC 164 match up against has not yet fully healed. Grant sent out an update about his injury on his official Twitter account on Monday night.
“I am still not yet 100% and can’t commit to fight,” he wrote. “It sucks but it is the best for both myself and the UFC. Please don’t worry. I’ll be back.”
As a result, Pettis got a new opponent to headline UFC on FOX 9 on December 14 — former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh “The Punk” Thomson. Thomson is currently ranked as the No. 5 lightweight contender and he is coming off of a statement win over Nate Diaz, which earned him the Knockout of the Night bonus.
Pettis won the UFC title in the UFC 164 main event over Benson Henderson, thanks to a first-round armbar that earned him Submission of the Night.
“Showtime” and Thomson are both very aggressive fighters, so it will be fun to see how they come out against each other at the Sacramento event. UFC on FOX 9 also features an exciting bantamweight match up between Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald.