Nate Diaz and TJ Grant have suddenly vanished from the UFC’s lightweight rankings despite both men having ranked highly on it just a week ago.
Diaz had been at No.6, while Grant was No.3, but both have now been removed from the rankings altogether due to them now being deemed inactive by the UFC.
The Stockton native last fought in November, notching up a first round TKO win over Gray Maynard, but since then he’s chosen to stay out of the Octagon as he’s unhappy with his current contract with the promotion.
So far Diaz’s complaints have fallen on deaf ears within the promotion however, and removing him from the rankings indicates that they are not going to give in to his demands.
It may be that Diaz has already figured that out for himself as the word from Dana White after UFC 172 late last month was that he had indicated that he was interested in fighting again, but this latest news suggests that all might still not be well behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, TJ Grant last fought in May of last year, also beating Maynard by TKO. That left him on a highly impressive five fight winning streak and had him marked down as the next in line for a title shot in the lightweight division.
However, unlike Diaz, Grant’s absence from the Octagon since then has been due to an injury. Grant suffered a concussion during a training session which didn’t seem like such a big deal at the time, but worryingly the symptoms haven’t subsided fully and lead to him having to turn down his shot at the belt.
Even a year later he’s still not ready to return yet which appears to have prompted the UFC’s decision to remove him from the rankings and lead to fears that the 30 year-old may never set foot in the Octagon again.
However, Grant has since clarified that while he is still recovering he fully intends to compete again.
“I’ll be back boys… don’t you worry,” Grant stated on Twitter. “Just healing up. Can’t wait to get back there.”
Two fighters who will be happy about the rankings shake-up are Myles Jury and Michael Johnson as they both step into the lightweight top 10 now as a result of Diaz and Grant being removed.