TJ Grant was remarkably level-headed when he was first brought the news during an interview with Ariel Helwani on Fuel TV that Anthony Pettis was attempting to replace him in a title fight against Ben Henderson at UFC 164.
However, having now had time to gather his thoughts, and safe in the knowledge that his shot at the title is going ahead as planned, Grant has now put Pettis on blast for his underhand tactics.
“I wish it was handled a little differently – him of all people,” Grant told ESPN’s UFC podcast. “I think it was disrespectful, to do that against someone who has earned the right to fight is not right.
“Unfortunately he got hurt but it was low class, I thought. I didn’t want to get into the whole talking thing. I got here legitimately and earned it. Ultimately, what he was saying was that he wanted my title shot which was incredibly disrespectful. It was pretty dirty.”
I think Grant’s comments are fair. Pettis has missed out on a lightweight title shot a number of times now, so it’s understandable why he’s hungry for his opportunity, but his lack of empathy for how his actions would have affected Grant if he’d got his way was surprising and proved to be a significant PR blunder on his part.