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Tuesday, 05/28/2013, 01:27 pm

Benson Henderson “Surprised” Grant Beat Maynard, Gets Next Title Shot

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| All roads to the top of the UFC lightweight division lead to Champion Benson Henderson.

Not every fighter gets that close to the top but for TJ Grant that’s the next stop…and the last standing between him and the UFC lightweight gold.

Grant, following his UFC 160 KO of top contender Gray Maynard last Saturday, feels that he holds all the tools capable of dethroning the current king of the division. Henderson, however, wasn’t even really eyeing a fight with Grant until he ran through Maynard over the weekend.

The Champion joined The MMA Hour on Monday to discuss Grant’s victory and his surprise in the outcome:

I won’t lie, I am a little bit surprised,” Henderson admitted on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I think most people had Gray winning, most people picked Gray to win. Not only did T.J. prove everybody wrong, but the manner and the fashion in which he did it, pretty impressive performance for him.”

 Although Grant has experienced his ups and downs in the UFC, since dropping to the lightweight division he has seemed almost unstoppable on his way to amassing a 5-0 record at the weight.

After knocking-out Matt Wiman and Gray Maynard back-to-back Grant now seemingly stands alone as the top contender in the UFC’s most competitive division. However, Henderson admits that even though Grant has looked spectacular he didn’t think he was going to get passed Maynard. Henderson explained,

“I was already kind of mentally preparing for [Maynard], and now I’ve got a new guy to mentally prepare for.

“I don’t know a whole lot about T.J., to be honest. I know he’s, what, 5-0 at 155 now. He used to be a ’70 pounder. From what I’ve seen of him, just the little promos and hype and stuff, doesn’t seem too flashy but just one of those guys, a grinder, good fundamentals, solid. It’s going to be my job to learn all about him the next month or so.”

Henderson, although he wasn’t really looking at a fight with Grant, now finds one of the biggest challenges of his career standing in front of him. Grant is looking to put the perfect end to his perfect lightweight run with a win over Henderson. He’ll definitely have his hands full as Henderson is also undefeated in the UFC lightweight division.

With the new plans now in place and Grant slated as the next obstacle standing in Henderson’s path to supremacy does anyone think that Grant has what it takes to dethrone the current champion?

There is no confirmed date or event scheduled for the fight at this time although rumors have already begun to circulate that the UFC is aiming to set this lightweight title fight as the main event of the August 17th launch of the new FOX Sports 1 network. For more information regarding this fight and the launch of FOX Sports 1 stay posted to BJPenn.com

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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