Now that Anthony Pettis' featherweight title hopes have been postponed, the former WEC champion has turned his gaze back towards the lightweight division.
"I can be 100 percent ready to fight Benson Henderson in Milwaukee," Pettis said in a statement on FUEL TV's UFC 161 post-fight show. "With all due respect to T.J. Grant, Milwaukee is my town, and the fight with Ben is the fight everyone has wanted for years."
Pettis and Henderson collided once before at the final fight in WEC history. The match became an instant classic, as both fighters battled back and forth for 25 minutes before a stunning fifth-round Showtime Kick sealed the deal for Pettis.
The UFC intended to grant Pettis an instant title shot upon being absorbed into the organization, however circumstances prevented the match from coming to fruition, and Pettis subsequently lost a grinding decision to Clay Guida.
Since then Henderson worked his way to the top of the UFC ladder, being crowned UFC champion and defending his belt a record tying three time, while Pettis' elusive title shot took another hit when the fighter was forced to withdraw from UFC 163's main event due to a torn meniscus.
"It's not bad. Anthony Pettis' knee is not bad, but it's not good. He doesn't require surgery, but he's going to have to go into (physical) therapy," UFC President Dana White said on Saturday.
"He talked to a doctor, and the doctor said he's out for a good six weeks and he needs a good (physical) therapist and he needs to get his knee back," White continued. "That's what our doctor said. He talked to a therapist in Milwaukee who told him three weeks. I could give a s--t what the therapist in Milwaukee thinks. I'm listening to the doctor. And I'm going to fly him out to Las Vegas to see Dr. (Steven) Saunders, too, for a second opinion."
Regardless of White's strong words, if that second opinion comes back positive, Pettis intends to campaign for T.J. Grant's spot on UFC 164 -- a card that takes place in Pettis' hometown of Milwaukee.
Henderson has never been shy about repeating his mantra about fighting anybody and everybody, ‘line ‘em up.' And in this case, regardless of his history with Pettis and the fact that the division's most anticipated rematch would likely draw far better pay-per-view numbers than a bout against the relatively unheralded Grant, the lightweight champ's message is clear.
"As I've always said, I don't care who I fight or when I fight them. I'm going to do what I always do, which is continue training to be the best in the world," Henderson said in a statement to MMAFighting.com. "I'll just fight and let the others worry about talking their way into fights."