MMAJunkie has confirmed with UFC president Dana White that lightweight contender TJ Grant has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled title fight against Benson Henderson at UFC 164 (August 31st, Milwaukee).
Replacing him will be Anthony Pettis, who was previously slated to fight for Jose Aldo’s featherweight title at UFC 163, then pulled out of that fight last month due to a knee injury, and immediately started campaigning to replace TJ Grant against Bendo, despite the fact that the injury was supposed to take Pettis out of circulation for six weeks. The MMA Gods were pleased at Showtime’s audacity, and struck Grant down with an undisclosed injury. Or maybe you’re a conspiracy theorist and you believe the UFC was planning this all along. And that’s fine. I don’t pass judgment on anybody’s beliefs.
The bottom line is, Henderson is making his next title defense against the last guy to beat him, thanks in part to a legendary highlight-reel kick that haunts Henderson to this day. Now that’s a story the UFC can sell. We’ll pass along more details when we have them.