The Anthony Pettis Title Fight Conspiracy

| July 16, 2013 | 1:46 pm | Reply

Everyone loves a title fight.  The belt brings out the fair weather fans in droves, gets the production crews working overtime, and has the high rollers freeing up their bankroll for wagers.  Championship fights embody why betting on sports is so exciting, but us gamblers aren’t the only ones who need to clear a profit at events.  MMA is a big money industry, and the UFC has hundreds of people counting on the continued success of their brand, with Pay Per Views being the cash cow of the industry.

It’s the main event status that has created the most drama and controversy in this sport, with fighters being passed over time and time again for more marketable options.  The UFC has even gone so far as to completely ignore its own ranking system, bumping fighters into a title bout at the request of champions, thereby defeating the purpose of the system entirely.

However, the recent lightweight title shuffle has brewed up some new controversy we’ve yet to see in the title picture: Outright deception.

In a confusing transition, Benson Henderson has gone from fighting TJ Grant and Jose Aldo fighting Anthony Pettis, to Pettis being injured, yet shuffled into a lightweight title bout in his hometown.  Confused? Skeptical? Well you’re not the only one.

To get you up to speed here is a short timeline of events:

February 5th: Anthony Pettis declares his intention to drop to Featherweight to fight Jose Aldo for the title on August 3rd.

March 15th: UFC 164 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin announced for August 31st.

UFC 164 Poster with Original Title Fight

Poster with original Title Fight

May 25th: In a number one contender bout, TJ Grant knocks out Gray Maynard, setting up a future match with Benson Henderson.

June 4th:Henderson vs. Grant announced as main event for UFC Lightweight Title.

June 14th: Pettis injures his knee and will no longer be able to face Jose Aldo on August 3rd.  Chan Sung Jung is declared his replacement against Aldo. Pettis says, via twitter: “Injuries are part of the sport, Small tear in my meniscus.”

July 12th: TJ Grant is injured.  Anthony Pettis is declared his replacement against Benson Henderson.

July 15th: Pettis states in an interview with Damon Martin from Bleacher Report: “I tore my LCL, it’s still a serious injury, but it isn’t as bad as an ACL or meniscus tear.  Minimum is supposed to be six weeks out, but I’ve got a good therapist here.” He continues “I actually went back (to training) last week which is the crazy thing.”

So, to recap, Pettis’ injury not only changed to another part of the knee, but he returned to training three weeks after it happened.  You can hardly blame people for thinking this is all a little weird, especially considering Pettis would be well aware of the nature of his injury, and has literally no reason to be in training early with his next match scheduled for October.

This whole situation takes on another light entirely when we take into account that sales have been less than stellar for the card when Henderson vs. Grant was the major draw.  What better recipe to put asses in seats than not only bringing in a local favorite, but promising a do-over of one of the greatest WEC fights of all time? Grant gets injured, giving Milwaukee the main event they want, Pettis gets a title shot, and everyone is happy.

The UFC landscape has been filled with conspiracy talk of late and these questionable moves surrounding Anthony Pettis will only further the discussion. Whether they were just bold moves or there was in fact some dishonesty at play it’s just another log that so easily can be thrown onto the already burning conspiracy talk.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Exclusive, MMA, Opinion, UFC

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

Leave a Reply