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TJ Grant was expected to challenge the newly crowned lightweight champ Anthony Pettis for the title at UFC on FOX 9 in December. Unfortunately, Grant was deemed medically unfit to compete, and was replaced by Josh Thomson. As it turns out, Grant suffered a concussion in training, temporarily sidelining his career.
In a recent interview with Fight Now TV, Grant described the injury as a “fog” that’s exacerbated when he exercises. He believes he made the right decision in declining the Pettis title fight, saying that he had to protect his long-term health.
“I had to make a good decision for myself,” he said. “Your brain is a different story. I still haven’t trained really, at all. I haven’t been on the mats, at all, for three months. I just want to do what’s best for myself. I’m not starting training unless my brain is 100 percent. It’s hard to say how serious it was. I was never knocked out, I didn’t see stars or anything. I just got hit in the head. I put my head out to stop a sweep. But I also fought two weeks before and I took a couple shots in that fight too, so maybe I shouldn’t have been training, I don’t know.
“It just happened. I’m just looking to be as safe as possible and get myself back to 100 percent and then resume my career,” he continued. “I accept the risks involved with this job, it’s a contact sport [but] I’m not 100 percent. I still have mild headaches, a little bit of fog. It’s more of just the fog than anything, and when you exercise it can make it worse. I want my long-term health, no matter what. This isn’t fun, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”
Grant is currently 21-5 in his MMA career, and until the injury, had amassed a five fight winning streak in the UFC’s lightweight division. He has not yet set an exact timetable for his return.
You can watch the interview in full below: