UFC

UFC Lightweight Champion Pettis Wins Wheaties NEXT Challenge

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Anthony-pettisMINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Wheaties fans have spoken, or have worked out, and the results of their workouts have led to UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis being named the winner of the Wheaties NEXT Challenge and the fighter will be featured on an upcoming Wheaties box. Pettis becomes the first mixed martial arts athlete to appear on the cover of a Wheaties box in the 91-year history of the breakfast cereal.

The Wheaties NEXT Challenge was driven by MapMyFitness in which fans would log in their workouts and credit them to the athlete of their choice. Pettis was one of five athletes in the challenge, beating out Motocross star Ryan Dungey, U.S. National Women’s Soccer League player Christen Press, American blade runner Blake Leeper and lacross power Rob Pannell. Fans logged in 873,154 workouts on behalf of the athlete of their choice over the duration of the challenge.

“We are thrilled to welcome Anthony Pettis to the Wheaties family and congratulate him and his fans on their remarkable effort and accomplishment, “ said Wheaties marketing manager David Oehler, “It has been inspiring to see communities across America get out and move this summer by supporting the athletes and the sports they love.”

“Honestly, I love the fact that I’m going to be on the Wheaties box,” said Pettis in an interview with UFC.com, “but the main thing is how big it’s going to be for our sport. Guys like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Muhammed Ali – the who’s who of champions – have been on this box, and now that they’re recognizing mixed martial arts and athletes like myself on the box it’s only going to make the sport grow that much more.”

Pettis realizes a lot has to do with UFC President Dana White’s involvement and promotion of the sport as well.

“Dana White had a lot to do with it. Wheaties approached UFC and said they wanted to have one of the athletes and potentially put them on one of the boxes, and this was back in the springtime,” said the UFC Lightweight Champion, “I was just coming off my win over [Benson] Henderson and Dana called me and said, ‘Hey, I want you to be our athlete and the box is coming out January one. It makes sense with your title defense.’ So they chose me.”

About Mark West

Mark West grew up playing and loving baseball. In college, he found an interest in writing and reporting on sports. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television Broadcasting with a News emphasis and a minor in Political Science. Mark began writing a few years ago informally about politics and sports on various blogs, but has focused primarily on baseball writing for the last two years. He loves Arkansas State Red Wolves baseball and writes about the games and the players for the Red Wolves and the Sun Belt Conference. Mark is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, giving him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year, and NCBWA All-America voting.

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