It’s not often a UFC fighter passes on a shot at the title on the account of a concussion – a torn knee, wrecked shoulder, or any number of other war wounds is typically the culprit.
However, lightweight TJ Grant (pictured) was forced to do so on two consecutive occasions. Now that Grant continues to be on the outside looking in, it’s understandable that his frustration level has reached epic proportions.
UFC president Dana White has some solid advice for Mr. Grant: Get your mind right … literally.
“He’s going through the same thing that Anthony Pettis went through,” White said. “It’s one of those unfortunate things that can happen in a contact sport. We’re not going anywhere. Kid’s just got to take his time, heal up, relax and we’ll see what happens.
“Carlos Condit went through this. Chuck Liddell went through this at one point. This happens.”
However, White applauds Grant for understanding that nothing is more important than his long-term health, even if it comes at the expense of the short-term satisfaction of fighting for the UFC belt.
“Going in and pushing yourself and saying, ‘You know what? I don’t want to miss this opportunity, so I’m going to hurt myself to do it,’ it’s ridiculous,” White said. “We’re not going anywhere. The belt’s going to be there. No matter who has the belt, it will be there, and we’ll figure the T.J. Grant thing out when T.J. Grant is healthy.”
Grant initially earned his top contender moniker after steamrolling former top contender Gray Maynard at UFC 160. The scrap marked his fifth straight win, with his last two ending in devastating (T)KO fashion.
Pettis will now defend his throne against Josh Thomson, who is currently ranked fifth in the UFC Lightweight Fighter Rankings, on December 14.
No word on when Grant will return to action.