In case mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are unaware, T.J. Grant has been fighting for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) since 2009, making a successful Octagon debut against Ryo Chonan at UFC 97 as a Welterweight back in 2009.
Now 10 fights into his UFC career, Grant has finally earned pay-per-view (PPV) main card exposure, facing Gray Maynard this weekend (May 25, 2013) at UFC 160 in Las Vegas, Nevada, after being buried on the under card throughout his tenure with the promotion.
And the Canadian will look to make the most of the PPV spotlight, establishing himself as the "new blood" of the Lightweight division after years of Frankie Edgar championship rematch mania. Indeed, Grant intends to deliver a "violent" performance against "The Bully" and elevate his name among the mainstream masses in the process.
He breaks it down (via Bleacher Report):
"There's so many guys out there, I think the UFC's trying to get away from having the belt tied up for all these rematches. I'm all for it. Obviously I want my shot. I feel like new blood, I bring an exciting style, I think that a lot of fans don't know a lot about me, but hopefully just getting to fight on the pay-per-view is going to bring my name to the masses a little more. I want to have a good performance and be exciting and violent."
Should Grant defeat Maynard -- who came up short in his two UFC title shots against Edgar at UFC 125 and UFC 136 -- he will earn his first-ever world title shot. Meanwhile, a loss to The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 contestant could send him back to the "Prelims" faster than a return trip to PPV.
And that's something Grant is determined to not let happen, even though the odds are stacked against him.