T.J. Grant defeated Gray Maynard in dominating fashion and thought the road to the title couldn’t get any easier. After already losing one shot due to injury at UFC 164, he has lost his next shot in December. Obviously the lightweight is learning the hard way that just because you earn it, doesn’t mean you receive it.
Staying healthy and injury free is a thing. Grant announced last night he’s yet to be cleared after suffering a concussion in training and will not be eligible to challenge for the belt at UFC on FOX 9.
Grant wrote on Twitter last night, “Quick update. Unfortunately I won’t be fighting Pettis on dec 14. I am still not yet 100% n can’t commit to fight. UFC is going with someone else instead. It sucks but it is the best for both myself and the UFC. Please don’t worry. Ill be back and if I gotta fight someone else to get back to where I wanna be then that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m not bitter. Thanks.”
Grant’s loss will be Josh Thomson‘s gain, but did the fans lose out on this one? Not taking anything away from Thomson, this just wasn’t the right choice in my opinion. Understandably so, Jose Aldo, the current UFC featherweight champion is injured until 2014, but fans and Pettis both agree that this fight needs to happen sooner than later.
Josh Thomson’s fight credentials are more than up to par to have earned him a UFC lightweight title shot and I don’t think it’s premature at all. Especially, after beating Nate Diaz, who we all know is unbreakable. Plus, Thomson has nasty stand-up/kickboxing and a good ground game, which will give Pettis more problems than fans think.
This fight is premature because of what’s going on right now, and maybe this is all Pettis’ fault. I mean, if he would have just waited for Benson Henderson (which he would have got due to Grant’s first injury) and not got involved with Aldo, then fans wouldn’t want it as much. When fans (including myself) found out that Aldo and Pettis were going to battle, we all thought we were going to be in for the best striking match in mma history.
Since that fight fell through the cracks and Pettis dominated Henderson, we all have been waiting for the UFC to find the spackle and reseal the damage. Not only that, but now there is actual beef between Aldo and “Showtime,” which just makes a better fight in the long run. Aldo might be hurt, but he should be fine by the Superbowl card in February. Holding Pettis off two months longer, is a smarter decision in my opinion.
~ In Conclusion ~
Pettis versus Thomson for free is a steal, and fans will be on the edge of their seats the whole time. It could be a short fight that ends in deadly fashion, or it could be a five round war that fans will be talking about for a long time. Either way, the winner of this fight will be the fans.
Both guys bring it, hence why the UFC wasted no time in replacing Grant with “The Punk.” Plus, Thomson wanted the Pettis fight after he beat Nate Diaz before Pettis was champ. He isn’t scared of Pettis and that will make for a great fight. I expect this to be FOTN and a Carrie style bloodbath.
The best part about this for Pettis, and the worst part for the featherweight division, is if Pettis loses, the UFC will probably just give him Aldo next (sorry Lamas and others), and if he wins, they again will probably give him Aldo.
So, even though the UFC didn’t make this fight now, doesn’t mean it has deceased into the ashes. Aldo for Pettis will happen, the big question is when? All I know is that when it does, fans won’t be disappointed.