There’s no question that the UFC’s schedule this year hasn’t been battered by injuries like it was in 2012, but as 2013 comes to a close, two of it’s champs are sidelined. UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis recently underwent knee surgery and is expected to be out until mid 2014. Heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, meanwhile, had his shoulder surgically repaired not long ago, and also will be out of action for quite some time.
While both men won’t be fighting anytime too soon, however, the UFC has no plans for interim titles in those divisions. While speaking to the media after UFC on FOX 9 Saturday, Dana White clarified the promotion’s policy regarding interim belts (comments via MMA Junkie.com):
“We know when Cain’s coming back; we know when Anthony Pettis is coming back,” White said. “We do [interim titles] when we don’t know when somebody’s going to come back or what’s going on.”
Usually interim titles aren’t determined unless the champion has been out for a year or more. Pettis took the lightweight belt at UFC 164 in August, while Velasquez’s last bout took place in October, when he took out Junior dos Santos at UFC 166.
White also relayed that the UFC did not have to ask Georges St. Pierre to formally vacate the welterweight title, as according to the UFC President, the renowned fighter voluntarily gave up the belt.