T.J. Grant Wants Pettis: ‘I feel like I’ve earned it’
T.J. Grant watched from the sidelines this past weekend a title fight in which he was supposed to be. Though an injury forced the lightweight out of the fight against Henderson at UFC 164, Grant believes he has earned himself the next shot at the new champion, Anthony Pettis.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
UFC 164 saw the crowning of a new lightweight champion. Had you asked him a few months ago, that is exactly what T.J. Grant thought would happen, with one difference: he would be wearing the UFC belt instead of his replacement, Anthony Pettis.
Grant suffered from a concussion the month prior to UFC 164, forcing him from the title shot he earned with five consecutive wins. When Pettis won the belt, he did mention Grant and wished the top contender a strong recovery, but most of the MMA world has been enraptured by the idea of a super fight between Pettis and featherweight champion, Jose Aldo.
Grant spoke to MMA Fighting about that super fight, and where he fits into the whole picture. While he would be interested in watching Aldo and Pettis fight, he does think he’s earned his shot.
“I’m pretty sure Aldo is a little banged up as well right now. My opinion – I’m a fan, and I love watching UFC fights. I watch all of them, whether they’re people I’m potentially fighting or not, I enjoy it. Pettis against Aldo is an exciting fight.
“But hey, I just won my last fight in two minutes. I knocked [Gray Maynard out]. I knocked [Matt Wiman] out before that. I feel like I’ve earned it. I feel like I’m the guy. I’ve been in the UFC a long time. I’ve never really gotten the push that I feel like I need, but I’ve also built a lot of experience in fighting and haven’t been in the spotlight, which is nice too. But I’m ready to be there and I’m ready to go out there. Give me the opportunity, man. I feel like I’ve earned it.”
Of course, all three men in question are, to use Grant’s words, “a little banged up.” He himself is recovering from a concussion, Jose Aldo suffered a broken foot in his last fight against The Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung, and it was announced following UFC 164 that Anthony Pettis may have hurt his knee.
While they all may fight one day, it seems that we may have to wait just a little bit to see it happen.