PCL Tear Could Keep Anthony Pettis out for Up to 6 Months with Surgery

UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis is no stranger to injury, spending the majority of 2012 rehabbing various nagging pains.

Now, with news that his UFC on FOX 9 title defense against Josh Thomson was postponed, it seemed Pettis would have to take another break. The full extent of this injury wasn’t yet known, however, as most thought it would be a quick turnaround after a brief break.

Instead, Pettis could be out for up to six months if surgery on a torn PCL is deemed necessary. Knee injuries are often the bane of an athlete’s career as is the case with Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, both of whom received a revolutionary treatment to correct the problem.

Taking his place in the main event will be Demetrious Johnson as he defends his flyweight title against Joseph Benavidez in a rematch of their flyweight tournament finale.

Dr. Jon Gelber Weighs In:

PCL tears are a somewhat rare injury in sports, but seem to be more common in MMA and wrestling since guys often shoot-in to their opponent. This can cause what’s called a “dashboard” injury where the shinbone (tibia) is driven backwards causing damage to the posterior ligament of the knee (PCL). The vast majority can be treated without surgery with rest for only a few weeks at most. However, if more than one knee ligament is torn or there is a lot of instability, then surgery may be an option to reconstruct the PCL with a graft.
Dana White: Anthony Pettis torn PCL 'definitely' requires surgery, could face six-month UFC sit

A torn PCL could potentially bench UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis for up to six months if surgery is needed to correct the issue.

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?