After starting out the year with a bang, by taking out Matt Wiman and then Gray Maynard, TJ Grant’s 2013 campaign will likely come to an end without another fight. Not only was the lightweight forced to drop out from an August 31st fight with then champion Benson Henderson, but the concussion behind his withdrawal has prevented him from fighting new champ Anthony Pettis in December as well. If that wasn’t bad enough, Grant’s had to deal with critics who have accused him of not manning up to fight Pettis at UFC on FOX 9…Yup. Even with what we know today about the serious, long term effects of concussions…
In a recent interview with Fight TV, not only did Grant discuss his decision to pass on the opportunity to face Pettis, but the 29 year-old vet revealed he is still having symptoms (comments transcribed by MMA Mania.com):
“I had to make a good decision for myself. Your brain is a different story. I still haven’t trained really, at all. I haven’t been on the mats, at all, for three months. I just want to do what’s best for myself. I’m not starting training unless my brain is 100 percent. It’s hard to say how serious it was. I was never knocked out, I didn’t see stars or anything. I just got hit in the head. I put my head out to stop a sweep. But I also fought two weeks before and I took a couple shots in that fight too, so maybe I shouldn’t have been training, I don’t know. It just happened. I’m just looking to be as safe as possible and get myself back to 100 percent and then resume my career. I accept the risks involved with this job, it’s a contact sport [but] I’m not 100 percent. I still have mild headaches, a little bit of fog. It’s more of just the fog than anything, and when you exercise it can make it worse. I want my long-term health, no matter what. This isn’t fun, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”
In addition to the fact he’s still experiencing difficulties from the head injury, as Grant noted, he’s hardly been able to train either. So clearly, Grant has made the right decision and should be applauded for it. Not only does he have to look out for his long term health and career, but he wouldn’t be 100% prepared for December 14th anyways.
UFC on FOX 9 will take place in Sacramento, California and will feature Pettis fighting Josh Thomson in the main event.
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