The original main event for UFC 164 was to feature UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and TJ Grant.
Grant, however, suffered an injury and was forced to remove himself from the equation, something that has become all-too-common in the UFC these days.
While the decision to pair Henderson and Anthony Pettis most times would not have been given a second look, the fact that it all came together moments after Pettis pulled out of a planned fight with Jose Aldo for the featherweight title seemed too unreal.
Did the UFC ask Grant to bow out? Was the injury – to either fighter – real? All the sides in play heard all the conspiracy talk.
Tuesday, during a pre-fight press conference, Henderson and Pettis were asked about the situation.
“There has always been conspiracy theories with everything I’ve done,” Henderson said. “There were a lot of crazy circumstances. It is what it is; once I found out the fight was going to happen, I was excited for it.”
Henderson, who lost to Pettis when the two were in the WEC, added he has been “waiting for (the rematch) for a while.”
Pettis offered to fight Aldo because it was viewed as a quicker path to a title shot. He is recovered from a knee injury.
“When I got the word, it was surprising to me,” he admitted. “The way the fight lined up….crazy. Sure, there were a lot of conspiracy theories popping up, but my injury was legit, and I’m sure TJ’s was legit.”