Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Update: TJ Grant Claims He *Wasn’t* Paid Off by the UFC, So Let’s All Stop Talking About That, Okay?

(Props: @TJ_Grant)

Judging from the immediate reaction to last night’s news that TJ Grant has withdrawn from his title fight against Benson Henderson, a lot of you seem to feel that Grant’s injury is somewhat less than legitimate. As the conspiracy theory goes, the UFC recognized that Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis would do much better business than Henderson vs. TJ Grant, and paid off Grant to fake an injury. (Who knows, maybe Pettis’s knee injury was bullshit as well?)

So let’s pump the brakes on this speculation right now. According to TJ Grant last night, the lightweight contender is recovering from a concussion suffered while grappling — an invisible injury, but still a real injury — and the UFC did not, and could not, pay him to give up his title shot. Okay? Can we all move on with our lives now? Oh, if only.

Here’s the deal: I actually believe that Grant’s not the kind of person who would sell the title shot he worked so hard for, but the almost universally-skeptical reaction that this situation produced tells us a lot about the UFC’s public perception — namely, that the promotion is a shady outfit that would pay its fighters to lie in order to set up more profitable fights.

The UFC and TJ Grant have every right to be offended by this suggestion. Unfortunately, a century’s worth of dirty-dealings in the fight business have trained fans to expect the worst when things work out a little too conveniently for a promoter. It’s especially unfortunate for TJ Grant, a humble, hard-working guy who has been fielding some rather nasty accusations since last night, and may be hearing about this for a long time. That’s the reality. But since the UFC is an organization that has always valued secrecy in its business dealings, perceptions of unethical behavior will always linger among MMA’s more imaginative fans.

The bottom line is this: You can all feel free to call this a “work,” as long as you acknowledge that you have no actual proof to back that opinion up.


Cagepotato Comments

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Sho Nuff- July 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm
Spot on, tamburlaine.
tamburlaine- July 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm
"[...] the almost universally-skeptical reaction that this situation produced tells us a lot about the UFC’s public perception — namely, that the promotion is a shady outfit that would pay its fighters to lie in order to set up more profitable fights."

Are you kidding me? Seriously? For fark's sake, there are still people out there who think aliens built the pyramids and that Sandy Hood was a government conspiracy.

The "conspiracy theory" response says *nothing* about the UFC; it says *everything* about the paranoid mindset of a wide swath of North Americans.
Sho Nuff- July 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm
There is so little corruption in unions today, but corporate media fed puppets like baghdadbob only "know" what they've been brainwashed to know. Unions built this country, players unions have been instrumental in American sports for the actual talent to get equitable pay, rather than the suits sucking up all the money for themselves.
BaghdadBob- July 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm
@realdeal75: So introducing unions will lead to less corruption? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ok that's enough, you get the point.
Clyde- July 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm
Denying it's a conspiracy? That's exactly what someone involved in a conspiracy would do. What more proof do we need?
Hutch- July 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm
I doubt that there is a fight fan out there that doesn't want those things. However accepting random rumors as fact does absolutely nothing to further what it is you say you want. You say you want the sport to have legitimacy so that fighters get what they deserve, etc. How are you helping that to happen by insinuating that the worlds largest MMA promotion is crooked enough to be paying off fighters so they get a desired outcome? Call it informed or whatever else you want, but the fact remains that it is nothing more than a crackpot theory brought forth by people grasping for straws because they are unhappy with a specific situation. That said, I'd much rather see Grant in the fight as well, but shit happens.
Phattousai- July 13, 2013 at 11:49 am
Well, you sure seem to believe that YOU know what's going on. What does that say about you?

McDonalds has been making hamburgers for decades and they still can't get it right either.
realdeal75- July 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm
It means that I'm informed and look at the history of facts from both sports, and that I don't look at things narrow mindedly, and that I want corruption out of my 2 favorite sports, and that I want all fighters to have a say, and get the rights, and protection they deserve. What does it say about YOU if you don't??
realdeal75- July 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm
That I'm informed and don't look at things narrow mindedly, and have looked closely at the history of the fight game, and that I care about getting corruption out of either sport, and that I want all fighters to have protection, and rights, and a pension, and good insurance. What's that say about you if you don't??
Phattousai- July 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm
I'm not saying you aren't any of those things, but none of that is shown in your comment below. Your comment makes you come off as a smarky prick who thinks he knows better than everyone else.
realdeal75- July 13, 2013 at 11:33 am
I find it funny how naïve some fans are with their quick to dismiss, and calling others idiotic for thinking this was a job by the UFC. I have been watching combat sports for 40 years and MMA & Boxing have had so many fixed fights, dives, backroom payoffs, mysterious injuries, corrupt judges, etc. to last 10 lifetimes. To think that no of this still goes on, and to believe that YOU know which ones are legit and which ones are a job is ignorant. None of us will really know for sure, and it shows the terrible shadiness that goes with the fight game. These things will continue to happen until MMA/Boxing get unions of their own. Here's to that happening one day!!
Hutch- July 13, 2013 at 10:52 am
Since this has apparently become a thing, anyone up for a ban on future conspiracy theories? I find enjoyment in people's stupidity as much as the next guy, but I don't know if I can take the inevitable "Bisping can't get a title shot because of the American government" nonsense this is clearly escalating to.
danomite- July 13, 2013 at 10:23 am
I think this reaction tells us less about the public perception about the UFC and more about the number of whackjobs that make up the UFC's fanbase.

First off, the amount of money it would take to get TJ Grant to 'step aside' would be way more than any extra money the UFC made off the extra tickets sold by having Pettis fight in his hometown. Secondly, if the UFC wanted Pettis to win the belt so bad, they would just let him fight the winner of Grant vs. Bendo. If they're sooo worried about boring old plain-jane TJ Grant becoming champion then delaying his fight by a couple months isn't going to fix any of that. If he beat Henderson now, he'd have to fight Pettis next. If instead, he steps aside and Pettis wins, he'd still have to fight Pettis next. In fact, giving Pettis the title shot now would be the worst of all possible moves, because he has less time to fully recover from his knee injury, unless of course, you believe that was faked too. In which case, you are probably too stupid to even be reading this.
Shifty-Eyed Dog- July 13, 2013 at 9:48 am
Grant is going to end up in another Pettis position - he's promised the next shot, but Henderson/Pettis will be close and they'll do a rematch, and in the meantime Grant will lose a different fight and drop off #1 contender status.