TJ Grant continues his ‘No seriously, I’m hurt’ media tour with a stop in at the MMA Hour, where he explains just how not great pulling out is for him and his career:
To the conspiracy theorists, Grant would like them to know that he wouldn’t sell out for anything. And besides, he wasn’t even guaranteed a title shot by matchmaker Joe Silva upon withdrawing. Sure, Grant hopes to fight the winner of Henderson-Pettis, but the only thing Silva told him is that if he has to take a step back, it will only be one, minor step; in other words, another likely title eliminator.
Either way is fine with him. Of course he would prefer to fight for the belt, but right now, his health takes precedence. He thinks November would be about the ideal return date, giving him enough time to recover and then train. Grant is hoping to start some light exercise this week and then work slowly into things.
Not to be too cynical, but Grant’s title shot may have had just a little to do with the UFC wanting a Canadian involved in a title fight for their Montreal card. There wasn’t exactly a giant groundswell of fan support demanding Grant get his shot, and it was probably the alignment of an upcoming Canadian card plus no other pressing challengers that resulted in him getting the nod. Will he get it again? It’s about the furthest thing from a sure bet.
It all reminds me of the time Karo Parisyan pulled out of his title shot against Matt Hughes. A young Georges St Pierre stepped in, only to get caught in an armbar after a dominating first round. He would go on to take the belt from Matt Hughes after Hughes defended it four more times against Frank Trigg, Joe Riggs, Royce Gracie, and BJ Penn. Karo Parisyan never got his shot back, not even after defeating Nick Thomson in impressive fashion upon his return.
So good luck getting that title shot back, TJ. You’re probably gonna have to beat a lot more guys at the tippy top of the 155 pound division to lock that shit back in.