Since T.J. Grant recently revealed that his next fight may not be for the UFC lightweight title after all, there’s been a lot speculation that the promotion may look to match the surging fighter up against Josh Thomson. Grant was of course scheduled to fight champion Benson Henderson at UFC 164, but after incurring a serious concussion during training, the well rounded vet had to pull out of the bout.
While Grant is obviously hoping to meet the winner of Henderson-Pettis II, the UFC reportedly let him know that he may have to take on another of the division’s top contenders first. Since the #4 ranked Thomson isn’t currently booked to fight anyone, it stands to reason that the UFC may tap the #3 Grant to fight him. So what does Thomson think of that idea? While speaking to MMA Fighting.com the Strikeforce vet stated:
“If T.J. Grant is available, I’d love to fight T.J. and the winner gets a title shot,” Thomson said. “I feel like I’m right there. I’d like to fight a top five guy and go from there.”
Not long ago, Thomson was campaigning for a bout with Pettis, as a means to jump right into the title shot mix. The lightweight, who is coming off a stoppage win over Nate Diaz in April, says he doesn’t have a lot of time to waste at this stage of his career.
“I think everyone starts feeling it around 34, 35. Before my next fight I’ll be 35. I’ve been fighting for 15 years now, 14 years, and I’ve always been considered one of the best fighters, a guy other guys don’t want to fight. Now that I’m here back in the UFC, back in the biggest promotion right now, I’m basically ranked 3-4 depending on what rankings you’re looking at. If I was 27, I wouldn’t care. But now I’m 34, I just want to fight the best, just fight whoever, whatever gets me the quickest way to the title. When someone’s this close you can’t let it slip away.”
It’s a bout that makes a lot of sense, although it’s a dangerous fight for Grant to take, considering he was booked for a title fight not long ago.
UFC 164 will take place on August 31st at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.