Long absent UFC Lightweight TJ Grant is ready to return from the wilderness and he doesn't want an easy fight when he does come back.
Grant has rarely been heard from since he pulled out of a UFC Lightweight title shot last year, after suffering a further head injury in training but he's called out Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone and Nick Diaz as his ideal opponents.
Re-trial by fire
Speaking to FOXSports.com, Grant revealed that he's almost ready to return and once he does, he wants Cerrone or Diaz - a win over either would put him back into the title contention he was at before his injuries.
"I feel like I'm fit and I'm going to be ready to fight people soon," Grant said.
"I don't see any reason why I can't just jump right back in. I'm looking to fight. I want to make money, too. I never ever take fights for money, but that definitely doesn't hurt when you haven't earned money in over a year. I'm hoping for Halifax.
"Halifax is what I'm game planning for, but I haven't talked to Joe Silva yet. When I'm ready to go, I'll give him a call and hopefully he'll be able to give me a spot along the way."
"I would personally like to fight Nate Diaz or Donald Cerrone," Grant said. "I think they would be exciting fights. I like the way they come forward and they fight. It's a competition, but it's a fight first, and that's what I want. But really I don't care. It's all about timing and some guys have fights, it's nothing personal. I just go out there and do my job.
"That would be ideal. I'm not picky. I'd bet Cerrone will probably have a fight booked in the next two days. Anybody in the top 10, it doesn't matter."
Dealing with concussions
Grant has been on the shelf for over 13 months with a string of head injuries and with the amount of caution that's expressed around concussions in sports these days, it's no surprise that Grant has taken it easy.
The UFC is trying to establish itself as a mainstream promotion and MMA as a 'safe' sport and if a fighter was to die shortly after a fight, or even during, then it's likely they would face sanctions and removal of their commission licenses.
So while the UFC, and Grant's title aspirations, are hindered by his injuries - it also protects them from ruining the foundation they have built up.
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