Morning Report: Anthony Pettis eyes July 5th return, surgeon calls it 'really optimistic'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Making an appearance on UFC Tonight, our own Ariel Helwani reports UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is looking to return to action for the 4th of July weekend. The holiday typically coincides with one of the UFC's largest events held each year in Las Vegas.

Pettis was slated to make the first defense of his title to Josh Thomson Dec. 14, 2013 at UFC on FOX 9, but was forced to withdraw after suffering a torn posterior cruciate ligament four weeks prior. Before taking the lightweight strap from Benson Henderson at UFC 164 last August, Pettis was also pulled from a featherweight title bout with champion Jose Aldo. In that instance, Pettis suffered a slight tear to his meniscus little more than two weeks until fight night.

Also appearing on the program, Cedars-Sinai Medical Group orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Klapper spoke with Kenny Florian about some of the more threatening injuries around the UFC. Regarding Pettis' prognosis, the physician didn't sound optimistic on a July return.

"In my opinion, this is about the toughest thing you can come back for," says Klapper. "Of all the injuries that can happen to a knee, when you're talking about the ACL or the meniscus, these are the structures in the front. It's easy for us as surgeons to get there. When you're talking about the back of the knee, where the arteries and nerves are, a much trickier area to get to, the results are not as terrific as they are with the structures we rebuild in the front. I would pray for him. Coming back in July? That's really optimistic."

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MEDIA STEW

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UFC 169: Extended Preview.

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Bendo 'won't make the same mistakes' against Thomson.

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New Tommy Toe Hold.

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Dave Batista on how training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu helped get him back to the WWE.

(via @Allen_Strk)

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I'm a little creeped out.

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And just because, Josh Thomson on Blind Date.

(via r/MMA)

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TUF Nations full fight: Elias Theodorou vs. Zein Saliba.

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Long watches.

UFC on Fox 10: Care/Don't Care Preview

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TWEETS

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Pretty cool.

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The years have been kind.

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Get well soon.

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Please and thank you.

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Next week.

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There goes my bait and switch plan.

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Maybe on a mail order bride?

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I'll take your word for it.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Jan. 22 2014)

Norman Parke vs. Leonardo Santos at UFC Fight Night 38

Mairbek Taisumov vs. Gleison Tibau at UFC Fight Night 38

Thiago Perpetuo vs. Kenny Robertson at UFC Fight Night 38

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Da Headbanger.

Everything You NEED to Know About UFC on FOX 10

When I look at what the UFC presented for its last 5 editions of UFC on FOX, I'm a little let down by what is being presented. I'm not upset with the main event of Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson. It should be a fun and engaging affair between two well-rounded savvy veterans. But I look at what is happening a week later and see that two title fights are happening at UFC 169... and wonder why the Jose Aldo-Ricardo Lamas bout couldn't have headlined this card. But to be totally honest, that isn't what is irking me. I'd have to say the letdown of the co-main event as well as the rest of the main card. We go from match-ups in this spot like Frank Mir-Daniel Cormier, Rory MacDonald-Jake Ellenberger, and Urijah Faber-Michael McDonald to Gabriel Gonzaga-Stipe Miocic? And Adriano Martins did have an impressive debut... but to jump from Facebook prelims against Daron Cruickshank to a FOX main card against Donald Cerrone?

I'll digress. Though the importance of the matches isn't up to the usual FOX standards, explosive violence is to be expected from these fights. The only main card fight with serious potential to be a dud is if Darren Elkins implements his lay and prey style in the opener against Jeremy Stephens. Not to be rooting against Elkins, but I don't think its necessary for me to say no one outside of his fight team is hoping for that. Sergio Pettis (yes, lightweight champ Anthony's little bro) follows up his debut and bantamweight headhunter Eddie Wineland make appearances on the undercard as well and its quite common for their opponents to be taking naps shortly after meeting up with them. There is no reason that I shouldn't be happy after this card. I really should stop bitching about such things.

...

Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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