Dana White: TJ Grant Will Get Next Crack at UFC Lightweight Title

September 3, 2013
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TJ Grant UFC 119-004Although new UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis‘ health is currently in question, his first title defense is not.

UFC president Dana White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports – an official MMAWeekly.com content partner – that TJ Grant will get the next shot at the lightweight title. Although Iole added that Pettis is still undergoing tests on the knee he injured when taking the belt from Benson Henderson at UFC 164 on Saturday night.

Pettis had been slated to drop down to featherweight and challenge UFC champion Jose Aldo at UFC 163 in early August, but a minor injury forced him out of the fight. His recovery time allowed him to step into the fight with Henderson after TJ Grant fell out of that fight.

As soon as Pettis defeated Henderson, chatter started up about whether he would again try to make the fight with Aldo happen or if he would be asked to remain at lightweight and put his belt up against Grant.

Pettis and Aldo each made public comments that they still wanted to fight each other. Although there is always some wiggle room to make a fight between champions happen, it appears that the first defense of Pettis’ newly minted UFC lightweight championship belt will be against Grant.

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  • Manuel Lopez

    It makes sense. Pettis needs to successfully defend his title before any champ vs champ fights. TJ is the logical choice.

  • Jay Mcgarrity

    If Pettis defends against TJ and Aldo defends against Mendes (or whoever his next challenger may be) I wouldn’t mind seeing a catch weight fight at 150 for pure entertainment value, no belts on the line. It may have less appeal than if Pettis were to defend several times but still more than if Aldo or Pettis were to lose. This is a fight that was supposed to happen and a lot of us were excited for it. I would still like to see it while they are both in their prime, be it for a belt or not.

    • Advance*

      I’d rather see Aldo vacate his title and fight for the lightweight belt. (After one more defense) I don’t think Pettis has reached the level yet where he should be in a catchweight super fight, and Aldo has proven more than enough at featherweight. They’re not going to want anyone to have two belts but at least one of the belts will have to be on the line to make it interesting. Aldo vacating makes way more sense.

      • Jay Mcgarrity

        I almost agree with you but I would still like to see Aldo fight Mendes, Lamas, and Cub. Obviously that is with the stipulation that Cub and Lamas continue to win their fights until then. If Aldo took them all out I wouldn’t see any reason for him to feel the need to stay at that weight class. If those fights did not happen and Aldo vacated the belt I’m sure it would leave a sour taste within the top contenders as well as a lot of unanswered questions. Maybe even just Aldo vs Mendes and then have another fight between Cub and Lamas. Winner of Cub and Lamas takes winner of Aldo vs Mendes. Either way, I would like to see Aldo take out at least two of the three before vacating to seal his legacy.

        • shakejunt

          i don’t disagree, but lamas is really the only guy left. i understand that rematches are important but it’s just not necessary seeing as he’s probably already established himself as #1 fw ever.

          the real tests for aldo, beyond lamas, are at lw. we should all be psyched that a dominant champ is looking to move up.

      • Lamas and Mendes should fight for the number one spot. Aldo should do that fight and get a superfight with Pettis. He shouldn’t vacate the title all together that’s much to risky. Even though Anthony hasn’t made the weight of 145 I still find it an advantage for Aldo being given that 10 extra pounds and not having to do a big cut. Penn didn’t vacate when he fought GSP so Aldo shouldn’t.

  • Tiddy28

    No doubt in my mind that TJ deserves this shot

    • shakejunt

      absolutely. glad it’s not a rashad situation where he gave up the shot due to injury and then had to wait for timing to be right.