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Anthony Pettis to return in December against Gilbert Melendez

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Anthony Pettis
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Anthony Pettis says his critics are "uneducated." (Getty)

Injuries have kept Anthony Pettis out of the Octagon since he won the UFC lightweight title in August, 2013, but on Monday the champ announced that he will make his return December 6 at UFC 181. Pettis is set to defend his belt against former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.

The two will appear as opposing coaches on an upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. Pettis earned the UFC title with a dramatic first-round submission win in his home town of Milwaukee over then champion Benson Henderson.

"Showtime" has continued to make moves outside of the cage, including becoming a Wheaties-sponsored athlete, but has been frustrated at his persistent knee injuries and subsequent inaction. Pettis made the announcement of his return date to MMA Fighting yesterday and also admitted that the criticism he's received from rival fighters regarding his time out taken for injuries bothers him.

"I can't sit back and chuckle it off," he said. "It gets under my skin."

How do you think Pettis will look after nearly a year and a half on the bench, and against such a stiff challenge as Melendez? Let us know in the comments section.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

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