You can't keep the champ on the shelf, that's the lesson of T.J. Grant's injury. Despite earning a legitimate shot at the 155 lb title a concussion suffered in early July has left the no. 1 contender on the shelf indefinitely. The news was announced on Fox Sports:
BREAKING: @TJ_Grant is out and @THEREALPUNK will now fight @Showtimepettis for the lightweight title at #UFConFOX9 on December 14th!— UFCONFOX (@UFCONFOX) September 17, 2013
For his part T.J. Grant teased the news, stating that there was just no way he'd be ready on the UFC's schedule.
Hey people. Quick update. Unfortunately I won't be fighting Pettis on dec 14. I am still not yet 100% n can't commit to fight. UFC is going— TJ Grant (@TJ_Grant) September 17, 2013
With someone else instead. It sucks but it is the best for both myself and the UFC. Please don't worry. Ill be back and if I gotta fight— TJ Grant (@TJ_Grant) September 17, 2013
Someone else to get back to where I wanna be then that's what I'm gonna do. I'm not bitter. Thanks— TJ Grant (@TJ_Grant) September 17, 2013
It's a harsh reality, but ultimately the right choice as the UFC has a potential hot property in Anthony Pettis and it makes little sense to shelve him for a match that most people just aren't clamoring for. Josh Thompson was one of three likely choices, the others being Rafael dos Anjos and Gilbert Melendez (if he got by Diego Sanchez). Thomson is coming off a surprising KO win over Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox 7 back in April. Pettis of course is coming off his title claiming victory over Benson Henderson at UFC 164.
What do you think? Did the UFC get it right? Is the best potential challenger getting the shot? Or should they have waited until Grant was back from injury?
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