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TJ Grant Believes He’s “Earned” Next Title Shot

Kelsey Mowatt

TJ Grant

While the MMA world is still buzzing about what transpired at UFC 164, and whether newly crowned lightweight champ Anthony Pettis will fight Jose Aldo next, it wasn’t long ago when TJ Grant was set to challenge Benson Henderson. In fact, just a few weeks back, many fans and pundits were busy weighing in on whether Grant should still fight Henderson, after Pettis came calling for his title fight slot on August 31st. Of course, a concussion, rather than Pettis, forced Grant to withdraw.

Now that Pettis has the belt wrapped around his waist, however, Grant has begun campaigning to be the first man to challenge the champion. While speaking to MMA, the Canadian lightweight had this to say about his title shot prospects, and why he believes he, and not Aldo, should fight Pettis first.

“I’m pretty sure Aldo is a little banged up as well right now,” Grant said. “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 the [Gray Maynard] out. I knocked the guy out before that [Matt Wiman]. 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.”

Due to the championship status of both Aldo and Pettis, no one should be surprised if the UFC looks to book the all-star bout, and it certainly sounds like UFC President Dana White is leaning that way. Unfortunately for Grant, it also looks like Pettis injured his knee Saturday night, and may not be ready to fight for a while anyways. Grant added that if Pettis is indeed sidelined for an extensive period of time, he’ll need to fight. In such a scenario, Grant expressed an interest in fighting Josh Thomson or Gilbert Melendez  (the latter will take on Diego Sanchez at UFC 166).

Stay tuned to MMA for more on this story and all your UFC news.


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