The Ultimate Fighter
Wheaties™ Fans Select Anthony Pettis as America’s NEXT Box Champion
Pettis wins Wheaties NEXT Challenge and becomes first MMA champion
to appear on the iconic cereal box
MINNEAPOLIS, September 3, 2014 — With over 873,000 workouts logged over the last two months in support of the Wheaties NEXT Challenge, America has spoken by selecting Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight Champion, Anthony Pettis to be featured nationally on the famed Wheaties box. This marks the first time in the cereal’s 91-year history that Wheaties put the power in the hands of the voters to choose the next elite athlete to appear on the box. Pettis’ Wheaties box will be available in early 2015.
Five world-class athletes from several emerging sports vied for the Wheaties box in an innovative way—by asking their fans to get out and move. The Wheaties NEXT Challenge, powered by the leader in Connected Fitness, MapMyFitness, encouraged fans to vote for their favorite athlete by logging workouts through the MapMyFitness platform – either manually documenting online, recording through any of the apps (MapMyFitness, MapMyRun, MapMyRide, MapMyWalk) or by connecting any one of the 400+ compatible devices. Over 71,000 people participated in the Wheaties NEXT Challenge with Pettis fans logging a total of 324,025 workouts, powering him to the top of the leaderboard.
“We are thrilled to welcome Anthony Pettis to the Wheaties family and congratulate him and his fans on their remarkable effort and accomplishment,” said David Oehler, marketing manager for Wheaties. “It has been inspiring to see communities across America get out and move this summer by supporting the athletes and the sports they love.”
Additionally, as part of Wheaties NEXT, Pettis selected and competed on behalf of two charities-- the Gadzuric Foundation and Exploit No More. Each charity will receive a donation from General Mills based upon the number of workouts logged for Pettis.
A native of Milwaukee, WI, Pettis made his professional MMA debut in 2007 and instantly took the sport by storm, amassing an impressive 17-2 record. Known for his flashy, gravity-defying kicks, Pettis captured the UFC® lightweight championship in 2013 and cemented himself as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. With his popularity at an all-time high, Pettis was chosen as a coach for the highly-anticipated 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter<sup>®, which premieres Sept. 10 on FOX Sports 1, featuring female athletes competing for the new UFC strawweight champion. Pettis will coach opposite top contender Gilbert Melendez and the two will meet Dec. 6 as he defends his UFC lightweight title for the first time.
Pettis competed against four other top athletes, each with an impressive amount of support and votes throughout the campaign. Motocross star Ryan Dungey placed second behind Pettis, followed by Christen Press of the U.S. National Women’s Soccer League, American blade runner Blake Leeper and lacrosse all-star Rob Pannell. Overall, 873,154 workouts were logged on behalf of the five athletes.
Fans can watch exclusive in-depth videos of each athlete by visiting www.wheaties.com or www.facebook.com/wheaties.