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T.J. Grant healed and hoping to return to UFC

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The former #1 Lightweight contender has been forced to take a job at a potash mine to support his family while he weighs a come back.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Regina Leader-Post of Saskatchewan, Canada caught up with ex-UFC contender T.J. Grant who moved there from Minnesota to take a job in a potash mine. Grant had been scheduled to fight for the UFC title when he suffered a concussion in training and has been unable to fight since May, 2013. He was able to live off his fight winnings until about six months ago when he had to take a job.

"To be honest I haven't really worked a regular job since maybe 2005. Basically, I've gotta make a living. When you're injured it's one of those sports where you can live off what you made for a little bit but we don't make that much money so you have to go on to other things.

"I'm just taking care of myself and my family as best I can right now," he explained. "I gave returning to fighting a real shot as far as living off of money I made, appearances and stuff, but it's a fighting sport. It's all about, ‘What have you done for me lately?' "

But Grant says he's 100% healthy and is considering a return to competition."In my opinion I'm not done fighting," said Grant, 31. "I feel 100-per-cent healthy. It's just there's a little bit of hesitation as far as returning to competition. In my heart I want to do it but I'm trying to be smart. I want to make the best decisions I can and make some money while doing it.

"When you've been through what I've been through you have to really take your time and come up with a battle plan," he said. "I also know that, in fighting, there are no guarantees. I have a life to live, I have a mortgage to pay, I have bills. Do I stop working, live off my credit in order to fight when I could get injured? There's a big risk-reward thing. I'm not ruling it out. I definitely love fighting. I want to do it but why not take a little break and let the rest of the world catch up (laughs)?"

Those who remember Grant's 5-0 run in the UFC LW division will be eager for his return to competition. He had been set to challenge then-champ Benson Henderson but had to step aside for Anthony Pettis who took the title and subsequently lost it to Rafael dos Anjos.