Dana White urges T.J. Grant to get healthy, says belt 'not going anywhere'


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

tj-grant-8.jpgTORONTO – UFC lightweight contender T.J. Grant has been forced to turn down two title fights in a four-month span due to injury, a situation with which company president Dana White can sympathize.

Grant (21-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) was originally scheduled to face former 155-pound titleholder Benson Henderson in the main event of last month’s UFC 164 event, however, a concussion suffered in training forced the Canadian out of the bout.

Similar to another famous athlete from his hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, named Sidney Crosby, Grant has dealt with lingering post-concussion syndromes in the fallout of the initial injury, which forced him to pass over a December matchup with newly crowned champion Anthony Pettis.

After a streak of five-straight victories in the lightweight division that earned Grant a No. 1 contender position, the injury occurred and now there is no certainty he will still get a crack at the belt upon recovery.

Similar situations have occurred past with mixed results. Whether do to injury or circumstance, other competitors have had to pass on a promised title chance. Some fighters find their way back to the title while others are unable to reclaim their former status. White recognizes the uncertainty of the position, and while he knows injuries are a part of the sport, he reminds Grant that if he takes the proper steps in getting back to 100 percent, there will be nothing to worry about.

“It’s one of those unfortunate things that can happen in a contact sport.” White told MMAjunkie.com at today’s pre-UFC 165 media event in Toronto. “We’re not going anywhere. Kid’s just got to take his time, heal up, relax and we’ll see what happens. Carlos Condit went through this. Chuck Liddell went through this at one point. This happens.”

Even though Grant may be incredibly upset watching first Anthony Pettis and now Josh Thomson take his place in championship fights thousands would give anything to compete in, White believes the fighter needs to recognize that health come first and there have been previous situations far more devastating than his own.

“These things happen,” White said. “Bad things happen like this. It’s part of the sport. There’s nothing you can do about it. I’m sure he’s really upset about it and it’s driving him crazy. Dominick Cruz did that season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ against Urijah Faber and was supposed to fight on the Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen II (card) and get a piece of pay-per-view. That kid lost his lottery ticket.”

When it comes down to it, MMA is a highly unpredictable sport where anything can happen at any time, be it in an actual fight or in training. Sometimes that unpredictable nature brings along injuries, but fighters can be negatively impacted by attempting to return to competition too soon. Grant’s concussion is a perfect example of an injury that requires proper healing.

White is aware of the hardships the 30-year-old has gone through in trying to get back to top form, however, he is adamant that Grant rushing back would be a mistake because regardless of what happens in the lightweight division, the belt isn’t going anywhere, and it’s still within his grasp.

“Going in and pushing yourself and saying, ‘You know what, I don’t want to miss this opportunity, so I’m going to hurt myself to do it,’ it’s ridiculous,” White said. “We’re not going anywhere. The belt’s going to be there. No matter who has the belt, it will be there, and we’ll figure the T.J. Grant thing out when T.J. Grant is healthy.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 22 days ago
  • 33 views

For the second time, the UFC has been forced to cancel a pay-per-view. UFC 176, set for Aug. 2 in Los Angeles, has been scrapped, the promotion announced Tuesday. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC more

  • 28 days ago
  • 40 views

Dana White cleared up the UFC featherweight "title shot" picture, pretty much saying Cub Swanson is going to get it after defeating Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 44. Don't ask, and you shall receive.
After he defeated Jeremy Stephens in the main event of UFC Fight Night 44 last weekend (Sat., June 28, 2014) in San Antonio, Texas via unanimous decision (highlights), Cub Swanson declared he wouldn't go begging for a title shot during the post-fight press conference.
Luckily for him, he won't more

  • 28 days ago
  • 62 views

UFC 176 received a huge blow tonight as Featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled title defense against Chad Mendes in the main event.
More bad Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) news.
UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo has suffered an injury and will be unable to defend his 145-pound title against Chad Mendes at UFC 176, which takes place at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Aug. 2, 2014.
No official statement was released from the promotion y more

  • 27 days ago
  • 56 views

Dana White wants everyone to know that business is booming in UFC land. In fact, it's 'never been bigger.'
One of the more consistent narratives in MMA for 2014 has been the UFC's declining business. While we don't know any specific numbers for UFC 174, the early talk is that it did less than 100,000 pay-per-view buys, a number that seemed unthinkably low in very recent years.
Jon Jones hasn't developed into a star capable of pulling much more than 350,000 buys, despite being a freakish talent w more

  • 25 days ago
  • 38 views

Dana White alluded to a deal in Las Vegas that will make everyone understand why Jon Jones' rematch with Alexander Gustafsson is in Las Vegas. The UFC boss also said that Vegas wanted the fight more than Sweden and Toronto. more

  • 19 days ago
  • 32 views

Lightweight contender Michael Johnson has been forced out of his UFC on FOX 12 bout against Josh Thomson due to injury, with Bobby "King" Green stepping in to face "The Punk" on July 26. more

  • 3 days ago
  • 59 views

Dana White gave an update on the negotiations to get Gina Carano back in the cage, saying "it's complicated"
Dana White has been working on signing the former 'face of women's MMA' in Gina Carano, stating in the past week that a deal was close, and he expected it to get done soon. White was asked for an update, and while he seems confident he is still going to get it done, the UFC president hinted at some potential snags in the negotiations.
"It's complicated", White said at the UFC on Fox post- more

  • 29 days ago
  • 53 views

After he failed two random drug tests in a one-month span, the UFC and Fox severed ties completely with Chael Sonnen on Monday. more

  • 28 days ago
  • 20 views

Dana White said that if BJ Penn loses this third bout against Frankie Edgar, he will be pushing the former champion to retire.
B.J. Penn has won UFC titles in two divisions, and as the sure-fire hall-of-fame fighter prepares to drop down on yet another weight class, Dana White has said that this may just be the last time he does compete for the promotion. According to the UFC president, if he doesn't win this third bout against Frankie Edgar, he will try to make 'the Prodigy' hang up the gloves. more