TJ Grant may be nearing his UFC return.
After an up and down career in the Welterweight division, Grant dropped to Lightweight in 2011 and went through a career resurgence. After rallying off wins over the likes of Shane Roller, Carlo Parter, Evan Dunham, and Matt Wiman, Grant was matched up against former UFC title Challenger Gray Maynard. Grant knocked out Maynard in the first round of their UFC 160 bout and cemented his status as the division’s number one contender.
Nearly a month away from a title bout with then-champion Benson Henderson, Grant suffered a concussion that caused him to pull-out of the match-up. Grant was replaced by former WEC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, who went on to take the title from Henderson via first round submission.
Grant was then scheduled to face Pettis in December but once again pulled out of the bout due to lingering effects from the concussion.
Grant spoke with UFC Tonight and said that he is about 90-95% recovered from the concussion. Grant also stated that he is targeting his return for an October event in Halifax, Canada but will wait until he is 100% healthy to make any decisions. Possible opponents for Grant’s return could include Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson, and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Grant’s current standing in the division’s pecking order is currently unknown. Pettis is currently scheduled to face Gilbert Melendez in late 2014, leaving Grant on the outside looking in. Due to the scheduling of the Pettis/Melenedez bout, Grant may have to fight more than once to regain his spot as the number one contender.
Regardless of how many fights Grant has to go through to regain his number one contender status, it’s great to see that he is finally making enough progress to return to the cage.
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