The world of Mixed Martial Arts can often be a soap opera where drama extends to realms outside of the cage. For example, take the path UFC lightweight Anthony Pettis traveled to his recently announced title-shot.
Pettis was initially set to square off against featherweight king Jose Aldo at UFC 163 before an injury forced him out of the fight. As a result, he quickly called out lightweight champion Benson Henderson in hopes of taking top contender T.J. Grant’s spot at UFC 164. After being rejected based on Grant deserving the opportunity coupled with the amount of time required for his recovery, Pettis turned his focus elsewhere only to ultimately end up getting the call to collide with “Bendo” as a result of Grant going down in training.
While the entire situation could have been scripted given the number of twists and turns, Grant went on Twitter this weekend to assure fans nothing was further from the truth.
“Sorry all you conspiracy theorists. Dana White and the UFC did not and could not pay me any amount of money to step aside,” wrote Grant, adding, “Thanks everyone for your concerns. I am healing from a concussion I suffered in BJJ of all things. I hope to be back training very soon.”
The 21-5 Grant is on a five-fight winning streak and is expected to face the winner of Pettis/Henderson. UFC 164 is scheduled for August 31 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports