UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis had all of the right pieces fall in to place to lead him to a title shot against former title holder Benson Henderson. After a knee injury forced Pettis out of his scheduled featherweight title shot against Jose Aldo, T.J. Grant withdrawed from his match up against Henderson and Pettis was able to step in and fight the champ in his hometown.
To complete a picture perfect story, Pettis was able to easily handle Henderson and stake his claim to UFC gold.
Many had wondered how Pettis’ knee would react during the fight, but it looks like the real concern inside of his camp was how his shoulder would hold up.
“You know what, my knee was fine, but I actually separated my shoulder two weeks before the [Henderson] fight,” Pettis told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “So, going into the fight I had a separated right shoulder. My jitz coach [Diego Moraes] rolled a little too hard and he slammed me on my shoulder, and I separated my shoulder two weeks before the fight.
“The last two weeks before the camp all I could do was roll really light. I couldn’t spar. For me it was just a mental thing. I’ve been through that before. It sucks that it happened two before the fight, but I wasn’t backing out of that one.”
This is just another example and more proof that no fighter heads in to a match up at 100 percent.
Sometimes the injuries are too much to overcome, but there are always the nagging injuries that fighters will compete through as they look to make their mark.
For Pettis, a shoulder injury wasn’t going to keep him from missing out on another title opportunity and Pettis showed his determination with his great performance inside of the octagon.