T.J. Grant Demands Respect, Attention Leading to Title Shot
By Michael Hatamoto
T.J. Grant picked up the most important win of his MMA career on Saturday night at UFC 160, when he crushed Gray Maynard by TKO in round 1.
The victory finally thrust Grant from the shadows into the spotlight, also earning him a title shot against champion Benson Henderson.
“It was a shocker, (he) just turned it on and is wrecking everybody, literally wrecking everybody,” UFC President Dana White said at the UFC 160 post-fight press conference.
Here is what Bendo had to say about the matchup:
— Benson Henderson (@BensonHenderson) May 26, 2013
Grant is a 29-year-old Canadian fighter holding an 8-3 UFC record and has wins against the likes of Carlo Prater, Evan Dunham, Matt Wiman, and Maynard – though lost decisions to Ricardo Almeida, Johny Hendricks, and Dong Hyun Kim.
The only question I had going into this fight is whether or not Grant can notch a win against a top 10 lightweight – and he showed he can. Grant picked up a $50,000 Knockout of the Night award with his quick 2:07 victory against Maynard.
Grant struggled as a UFC welterweight, as he was physically bullied with subpar takedown defense, though that has changed while at 155 lbs. In addition to his stronger wrestling, Grant’s striking ability has steadily improved in his past few fights.
A specific event date wasn’t listed for Henderson vs. Grant, but it should certainly before the end of 2013.