UFC lightweight T.J. Grant has been itching for a title shot for some time now. He was originally set to face off against the now former champion Benson Henderson. Unfortunately, he suffered a concussion while training and was forced to step aside. Many expected him to get an immediate title shot upon his return, but recent comments by UFC President Dana White have indicated that might not be the case for the 29 year-old Canadian lightweight.
“T.J. Grant’s in one of those unfortunate situations where he had the title shot and he had to pull out twice,” White said after UFC 166.
Current UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis replaced Grant as a challenger to Henderson’s title. Pettis submitted Henderson and is now the lightweight champion. Many expected T.J. Grant to get a shot at Anthony Pettis, but he wasn’t cleared to fight due to his injury, so Josh Thomson filled in the slot as the #1 contender for Pettis’s belt.
Following what many consider was the fight of the year between Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez at UFC 166, White indicated that Melendez could be another fighter prioritized higher than T.J. Grant for title contention.
When a reporter asked UFC President Dana White if Melendez’s performance put him closer to a title shot, White’s response indicated bad news for T.J. Grant.
“Yeah. It’s a huge setback for T.J. Grant,” White said.
It appears that Grant is just running into bad luck lately. Before his injury, he was on a five-fight win streak in the UFC.