TJ Grant Looking to Blemish Hendricks Record
Coming into UFC 107, Nova Scotia’s TJ Grant was coming off a loss to Dong Hyun Kim and the possibility of a second consecutive loss would probably have knocked him out of the UFC. However, after a Knockout of the Night performance against Kevin Burns at UFC 107, TJ Grant now finds himself with a $65,000 bonus, a new four fight contract with the UFC, and an upcoming bout in Montreal against Johnny Hendricks at UFC 113.
TJ, who came into UFC 107 under the black cloud of the UFC’s “two straight losses and you are out” policy, was motivated to pull off the biggest win in his three year career. Grant told Top MMA News how he felt coming into that Kevin Burns’ matchup,
“I felt a lot of pressure – especially coming off a loss to Dong Hyun Kim. The pressure changed my whole outlook on the fight, but I didn’t want it to change the way I fight. I didn’t want to fight not to lose. I needed to fight to win. (Two losses in a row) was on my mind everyday while I trained leading up to the Burns’ fight and even on the day of the fight, but it is you or him and you got to do your best to make sure it is you. I used it to push me in training. I was the happiest I have ever been after I won that fight. I was just so pumped.”
The $65,000 bonus and new four fight deal were icing on the cake for Grant, who “will pay some taxes, pay some bills, and be smart with (his substantial windfall).”
Now, the Cole Harbour native fighter must focus his attention on the undefeated Johny Hendricks. Hendricks is an impressive 7-0 in his brief two year MMA career. Hendricks entered MMA following a dominant wrestling career that saw him win three State championships and two National Division I championships.
Scott MacLean, TJ Grant’s coach from FitPlus, states, “We are very excited in this fight for several reasons. A – its in Canada and B – we think Johny Hendricks will bring the best out in TJ.” Grant adds, “Hendricks is a tough guy with some hardcore wrestling that is on his way up. Anyone in the UFC is a tough fight.”
TJ loves the fact that the fight is in Montreal. “I have fought in Montreal 5 or 6 times. The fans are great! The town is great! It will be awesome. I love Montreal. Its going to be a a great card.” As for fighting Hendricks, Grant, a decent wrestler himself, matter-of-factly states, “I am not going to out-wrestle him, but this is not a wrestling match. Its an MMA fight and I put my MMA together better than he does.”
Grant will head to Thailand to kickstart his twelve week training camp that will be based primarily at FitPlus in Nova Scotia. Once back in Cole Harbour, FitPlus athletes Tristan Johnson and Chad Cox will assist Grant in preparing for his Montreal fight. In addition to his local teammates, expect Canadian Welterweights Nathan Gunn and Corey MacDonald, as well as former Missouri All-American wrestler-turned-MMA fighter Michael Chandler to be brought in for some game plan specific training at FitPlus for Hendricks.
A very down-to-earth Grant credits Scott MacLean and his Jorge Gurgel-affiliated FitPlus gym for much of his success. “I have been with Scott since the beginning. I was the first member when he opened the gym. He has been instrumental in getting me where I am in MMA. He is always pushing me to get better and to learn. It’s obviously paying off.” Together the two are “looking forward to the UFC as his home for a very long time.” Their goals are obvious, says Scott, “Cracking the top ten is TJ’s immediate goal for 2010 – becoming a champion is his long term goal.”
UFC 113 Lineup – http://topmmanews.com/2010/01/27/ufc-113-montreal-may-8/