Not only has it been an up-and-down year for TJ Grant, who secured a title fight earlier in 2013 before having to pass on two title fights, but the lightweight has surprisingly had to defend himself against critics. When a serious concussion forced Grant to drop out of from an August 31st fight with now former champ Benson Henderson, some folks claimed the punishing fighter had stepped aside to clear the way for Henderson-Pettis. Now that the fighter has passed on a chance to fight Pettis at UFC on FOX 9, however, some ‘fans’ are accusing Grant of just not stepping up to the plate.
While speaking to MMA Junkie.com recently, Grant defended his understandable decision to pass on the December 14th bout, which will allow him to compete when he’s in fact 100% ready.
“At first, just people questioning me like that, originally I was pretty upset,” Grant said. “Just like, ‘Oh yeah, suck it up.’ I actually had a couple people say things like, ‘I played football with a concussion,’ and I was just like, well, you’re an idiot.”
“This latest one [against Anthony Pettis], it was just hanging around and it’s been three months, so I just wanted to take the time and heal up,” Grant said. “When they offered the fight for Dec. 14, I just knew I’m not ready. Maybe in a month I’ll be 100 percent healed. But also, I haven’t been on the mats for three months. There’s just too much unknown to be able to commit.”
You would think that everyone would support Grant’s decision because of the increasing awareness regarding the longterm dangers of concussions. Hopefully the vet can return to the Octagon sooner than later.
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