Canadian fighter TJ Grant is on the mend and optimistic he will soon be able to return to the Octagon.
Just over a year ago, Grant had rocketed to the top of the UFC lightweight division, winning five consecutive bouts, and claiming a shot at then-champion Benson Henderson.
Ever since defeating Gray Maynard on May 25, 2013, to claim the No. 1 contender spot, however, Grant has been fighting a completely different battle.
He was slated to challenge Henderson at UFC 164 in August, but suffered an injury in training that forced him to withdraw. In the meantime, Anthony Pettis took his place and won the belt.
Pettis vs. Grant was then targeted for December, but the Candian’s injury kept him from accepting that bout as well.
He had suffered a concussion that has left him dealing with the lingering side effects for the past year.
On Tuesday, however, Grant said things are looking up, and he is targeting a possible return sometime this fall.
“It’s definitely been a challenging year for me, but I’m near the end of it and I’m looking forward to resuming my career soon,” Grant said during a press conference promoting and upcoming UFC event in his stomping grounds of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“I hope to be ready to fight this fall.”
Tom Wright, the UFC Director of Operations for Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, on Tuesday ruled out Grant returning on the Oct. 4 fight card in Halifax, so there is still no definitive date for him to fight again, but Grant is optimistic.
“I’m really close,” he reiterated. “I still can’t put a percentage or a timetable (on my return), but I’m optimistic and I feel confident going forward.”