Well, folks, it turns out that the story we heard about Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis not fighting because TJ Grant “was next” may have been—gasp—not completely forthcoming. It turns out that Grant had suffered a concussion early in July, which had still not been cleared by doctors at the time the fight was booked over one between Pettis and (the healthy) Jose Aldo. The UFC released a statement on its website confirming that Josh “The Punk” Thomson will be getting the title shot instead:
The main event for UFC Fight Night on FOX December 14 has been verbally agreed to as UFC lightweight world champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis will defend his title against number-five ranked contender Josh “The Punk” Thomson. Pettis recently reclaimed the belt from Benson Henderson, from whom he’d won the WEC lightweight title in 2010, via a first-round armbar that earned Submission of the Night honors. Thomson most recently earned a Knockout of the Night bonus for his highlight-reel finish of Nate Diaz. Neither Henderson nor Diaz had previously been stopped in their UFC careers.
TJ Grant also withdrew from a fight with Ben Henderson at UFC 164 because of a concussion suffered in training. At that time, some of Joe Rogan’s friends theorized that Grant may have been faking the injury due to a UFC conspiracy to make more money with the Henderson-Pettis rematch. That does not take into account the fact that Grant, as he puts it, took the coward’s way out. In fact, that was a little-theorized explanation that now seems to deserve some play with these repeat withdrawals.
How many times have Wanderlei Silva and other former Chute Boxers been knocked out in training and not even reported it to anyone? The existence of those people proves that the current furor over athletes sustaining concussions is only a fad. I hereby demand that TJ Grant and other cage fighters show increased willingness to sustain head trauma for my amusement, and until then, I declare them all weak-hitting pussies. Josh Thomson’s last opponent Nate Diaz would definitely say that about him.