As I so eloquently predicted, the unstoppable lightweight force that is T.J. Grant was able to successfully upset the heavily-favored Gray Maynard via a hellstorm of punches and knees at UFC 160 last weekend (conversely, I would like to apologize to George Roop, who shed his “puffed up crow’s cock” moniker with an impressive TKO of Brian Bowles earlier in the evening). It was so impressive a performance that Dana White actually made good on his promise to grant T.J. the next lightweight title shot, despite the fact that next to no one — including Ben Henderson himself — really knows who Grant is.
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, “Smooth” admitted that, prior to Grant’s victory over Maynard, he had no idea who the Canadian was and in fact was already preparing for a future fight with Maynard:
I am a little bit surprised. I think most people had Gray winning. Most people picked Gray to win and not only did T.J. prove everyone wrong, but in the manner and in the fashion that he did it, pretty impressive performance for him. I did (think Maynard was going to win). I thought Gray was going to be the next guy I faced. I was already kind of preparing for that and now I got a new guy to prepare for. I don’t know a whole lot about T.J. to be honest.
I know he’s 5-0 at 155 now, he used to be a 170 pounder. From what I’ve seen of him, from the promos and highlights and stuff, he doesn’t seem too flashy. He’s one of those guys, a grinder, good fundamentals and solid. It is going to be my job to learn about him the next month or so to get ready for him.
As for the event that could possibly hold this sure-to-be slugfest? White suggested at the UFC 160 post-fight press conference that the organization was looking to book Henderson vs. Grant for the highly-anticipated UFC on Fox Sports 1:1 card, which goes down from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on August 17th.
Already featuring a trio of barnburners in Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne, Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson, and Matt Brown vs. Thiago Alves, UFC on Fox Sports 1 1 is well on its way to becoming the best television card the UFC has ever done. So start crossing your fingers, ritualistically sacrificing teenagers, or doing whatever you can to ensure that the injury gods are appeased for the next few months.