As we’ve already discussed, the upcoming UFC 164 lightweight title fight between Benson Henderson and TJ Grant isn’t exactly capturing the hearts and minds of MMA fans, and could potentially tank on pay-per-view. (Which wouldn’t be the first time that Bendo has tanked on PPV.) So when Anthony Pettis went down with a knee injury last week, knocking him out of his UFC 163 featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo, some of the more paranoid fans among us began buzzing: Is this just a ploy to line-jump Pettis into a much more compelling/lucrative fight against Henderson? The two men have some history, after all.
At first we dismissed this theory as lunatic ravings from the same people who would tell you that Luke Rockhold signaled that he was ready to take a dive against Vitor Belfort, or that Chael Sonnen bangs his desk to signify that he’s ready for his close-up. Would Pettis really fake an injury — or would the UFC invent one — in order to screw over TJ Grant and cash in with a bigger fight? Come on, that’s absurd. At least we thought so until we read this:
“I can be 100% ready to fight Benson Henderson in Milwaukee,” said Pettis to Fuel TV. “With all due respect to T.J. Grant, Milwaukee is my town, and the fight with Ben is the fight everyone has wanted for years.”
For the record, UFC president Dana White claims that Pettis’s knee won’t be ready in time for UFC 164 on August 31st, but obviously he’s just trying to keep the public from catching on to his dastardly plot, and TJ Grant will be faking his own injury sometime within the next couple weeks. Allegedly.
But seriously, here’s what Grant had to say about the situation…
“As of right now I haven’t been told anything, I’m preparing for Benson Henderson. I try not to focus on all that other stuff. I know that there are possibilities, but I haven’t heard anything…right now, my sights are set on Benson Henderson, I feel like I earned my shot and it’s my time…I’m ready to rock ‘n’ roll, man, I’m not gonna worry about it right now…I’m fighting Benson Henderson, that’s as far as I know right now.”
Poor TJ. He’s just a patsy.