After Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (16-2-0) became injured and was out of his main event featherweight title fight with Jose Aldo, he was campaigning to fight Benson “Smooth” Henderson (19-2-0) for the UFC lightweight strap. The only problem was that Henderson was already facing T.J. Grant at UFC 164: Henderson vs. Grant. Pettis wanted the fight for two big reasons, one to get the title and secondly to fight in his home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Pettis took a title from Henderson once before when he defeated “Smooth” at WEC 53 back in December of 2010. Since then, Henderson has won 7 straight inside the UFC, three of those were title defenses. Pettis on the other hand had lost to Clay Guida in his UFC debut, but since then he has earned three straight wins.
The odds of a rematch looked unlikely, but after T.J. Grant announced he was injured, Pettis earned the spot. Grant suffered a concussion in a BJJ session that was severe enough for him to back out of the fight. It was an unfortunate happening for Grant, but for Pettis it turned out nicely. He will get what he wanted all along, the UFC lightweight title shot. Henderson has really evolved as a fighter since the last time he met “Showtime” and it should be very interesting to see this high level lightweight bout go down at the Bradley Center on August 31st.