TJ Grant didn’t exit a planned UFC lightweight title fight vs. Benson Henderson because UFC officials pressured him to do so.
Grant, who announced last week that a concussion would keep him from fighting for the title at UFC 164 in August, made the decision on his own after consulting with doctors.
In Grant’s place will step Anthony Pettis, who has campaigned for a title fight since entering the UFC. He also defeated Henderson when the two were in the WEC – the last loss on “Smooth’s” resume.
“I want to do what’s best for me,” said Grant on The MMA Hour. “I want to fight for a long time. I want to live a long time. I want to enjoy my baby girl and all that stuff, so I thought about it a lot and talked to the UFC doctor and all the doctors here. The decision was 100 percent mine.”
Some pointed to the change as a way for the UFC to boost ticket sales and interest in the event, as “Showtime” is a bigger name than Grant. Immediately after the announcement was made, the Canadian shot those claims down, saying he was legitimately hurt and heartbroken having to give up the title shot.