HALIFAX - Local lightweight TJ Grant may not be on the line-up card for UFC Fight Night, but despite being injured, he’s thrilled to see the mixed martial arts event come to his home province.
“This is a massive thing to happen to Atlantic Canada,” the 30-year-old Cole Harbour fighter said Tuesday at a press conference inside the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, held to pump up the mixed martial arts event coming Oct. 4 to the Halifax Metro Centre.
“I’m just thankful that it’s happening,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the show; it’s going to be awesome.”
Grant is still recovering from a serious concussion, suffered last season during a training session.
After five straight wins, Grant was supposed to fight former champion Benson Henderson for a shot at the title last August, but was pulled from the bout due to his condition. A December 2013 fight against current champion Anthony Pettis was also cancelled because he wasn’t medically cleared.
“It’s definitely been a challenging year for me, but you know, I’m near the end of it and I’m looking forward to resuming my career soon,” he said. “I hope to be ready to fight this fall.”
Despite his optimism, it’s unlikely Grant will be added to the upcoming UFC Fight Night line-up.
“I know the card’s already booked up,” he said after the presser had wrapped up, admitting “it’s difficult” not to participate in the big event being held in his own backyard.
“I’m just focusing on getting better,” Grant said, adding he’s still staying away from sparring but is “pretty close to training at high intensity.”
“I’m happy for the fans in Halifax that are going to get to see a great night of fights,” he said. “I’m going to be there to enjoy it myself.”