UFC 160 was one of the most stacked cards the UFC has put together so far this year, the card had many important fights throughout the card, and T.J. Grant’s big knockout win earned him more than anyone else. This may come as a surprise to those who witnessed Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez destroy their opponents to set up another rematch in what will be one of the most storied trilogies in the history of the heavyweight division, yet it is true nonetheless.
By defeating favorite Gray Maynard in the fashion that he did, T.J. Grant was able to elevate his career to the next level. The fifth straight win has set up a title shot with lightweight champion Benson Henderson as his next bout. Grant was able to thrive in the biggest fight of his life, and as a result earned himself an even bigger fight. Should Grant continue his recent string of dominance against the champion Henderson, he will have UFC gold around his waist for the first time in his career.
The fight was one of the quicker bouts on the card, yet it was one of the most stunning. Maynard, fighting for just the third time in the past three years, came into the fight as the number three contender for the title, and would have earned himself a title shot had he taken care of business and beat Grant. However he came out overconfident, sticking his neck out one too many times and was quickly knocked out because of it.
UFC President Dana White was practically gushing over the talented lightweight in the post fight interview. When asked about Grant and what the fight meant for him he replied “We’re looking at all these different fights and options and all these different things to do. I wanted to make sure that the next contender for the title was putting on great fights. I wanted to see something good tonight, I wanted to see something special, and I saw that tonight. Grant’s getting the next title shot.”
Dana White has given out title shots that haven’t panned out in the past, but the way in which T.J. Grant is destroying everyone in front of him lately, it would be a complete shock if he didn’t get what he has been promised. T.J. Grant was the biggest winner of UFC 160 because he put on a show, he didn’t fight like an underdog, he fought like a man on a mission for gold.
Coming into the night this fight did not receive the hype that it deserved. Almost completely overshadowed by the two heavyweight fights that followed it on the UFC 160 card, T.J. Grant delivered in a bigger way than either of the two heavyweights with his win. The fight began with a confident to the point of cocky Maynard throwing haymakers without any respect for his opponent. That quickly changed when he got caught with a massive right that was quickly followed with a finish after Maynard hit the ground.
Lightweight champion Benson Henderson tweeted that he was “feeling giddy” over knowing who he would be fighting, asking Grant “How you feelin’ champ?” This fight will prove to be Henderson’s toughest title defense yet should Grant put on an effort anywhere near what he was able to muster last night against Maynard. Grant has shown perhaps the most power of anyone Benson Henderson has faced, and could prove to be the first to finish the champion under the UFC banner. The fight is rumored to be the main event on the UFC on Fox Sports 1 card in August according to Yahoo Sports.
Fans love to see a great finish to a fight, nothing earns a following quicker in the UFC. With the finish he quickly earned at UFC 160 T.J. Grant was able to score the biggest and most important win of the night. He as proven to be one of the most exciting lightweights in the sport and stands a good chance of upsetting the champ in exciting fashion when the two collide in the near future.
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The Guardian Express