If people mentioned TJ Grant in the UFC lightweight title talk and you said to yourself, “Who?” You’re no longer saying that after Saturday night.
Grant took the fight to former title contender Gray Maynard and put his lights out in the opening round of their UFC 160 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Maynard started off the fight looking sharp, landing an early right uppercut and following with a few more good shots as the two tried to settle into a rhythm.
It was Grant, however, that found the wobble button first, dropping Maynard with a big right hand. Maynard quickly returned to his feet, but Grant kept his foot on the gas pedal, firing combination after combination.
He dropped Maynard again, and again Maynard returned to his feet.
A knee to the face and several punches later, however, and the fight was over, Grant finishing one of the top lightweights in the world.
“I’m so happy right now,” said Grant after the fight. “I practiced that for the last eight weeks straight… and it worked.”
With the victory, according to UFC president Dana White, Grant earned a shot at UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
“I know what Dana said,” Grant stated. “I wanna fight Benson Henderson for the title. I wanna fight the champ. I want to be the champ.”