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For the first time in Wheaties' 91-year history, the General Mills cereal asked fans to decide a box cover athlete, and they chose UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. The Wheaties NEXT Challenge asked fans to vote for their favorite athlete by logging workouts through the MapMyFitness platform or by connecting compatible devices.
Over 71,000 people, in all, participated in the Wheaties NEXT Challenge and "Showtime" fans logged a total of 324,025 workouts, giving the fighter the win. Pettis' Wheaties box will be on grocery store shelves in early 2015, and will be the first version of the iconic cereal boxes to feature an MMA fighter.
“We are thrilled to welcome Anthony Pettis to the Wheaties family and congratulate him and his fans on their remarkable effort and accomplishment,” David Oehler, marketing manager for Wheaties said in a statement.
Pettis competed not just for himself, but also on behalf of two charities, the Gadzuric Foundation and Exploit No More. General Mills will donate an unspecified amount to both charities, based on the amount of workouts logged by Pettis fans.
Pettis will likely next be on your TV screens as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter, season 20, which begins airing Sep. 10 on Fox Sports 1. Pettis will coach opposite Gilbert Melendez and then the two will face-off Dec. 6 for Pettis' lightweight world championship.