clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC lightweight TJ Grant not sure he'll return to an MMA career that left him injured and in debt

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title contender TJ Grant hasn't stepped foot inside the Octagon in over two years after suffering a concussion during training.

The injury forced him out of his first-ever title fight, which was supposed to go down against Ben Henderson at UFC 164 back in September of 2013.

Since then, the 155-pound landscape has changed dramatically. So too, has Grant's priorities, as he recently revealed on The MMA Hour that he may never come back to mixed martial arts (MMA). Because at the end of the day, he has a growing family to maintain, and spending money to mount a comeback isn't exactly the ideal scenario.

Neither is returning to sport that left him injured and in debt.

"I've been doing this sport, or I did this sport for a long time. Can't say that I'm currently doing it. I'm not going to close the door on never coming back to fight. But at this point, I am just taking care of myself and my family first and foremost. I did well in the UFC. I wouldn't say I made a lot of money, but I was able to buy a house and then buy another one. At this point, where did this sport really leave me? It kind of left me injured and then I had a little over a year where I just basically accumulated debt like most fighters do in between fights. Basically, I was hurt for awhile and I basically had to go back to work and be a regular guy for a bit. I would definitely entertain the thought of going back to fighting. But at this point, I have to also realize that to get back into fighting it costs money. You got training camps and basically put your whole life on hold. Right now it's not something that's in the cards for me having two little ones. It's obviously taking precedence over my life and, you know, potentially in the future you never know. I still feel like I'd love to compete, I still feel like there is some fire in me. I definitely love combat sports and I love competing, so, I'd like to do it potentially, but I haven't made my mind up at all."

"Feeling pretty good," for the most part, Grant says the concussion issues are in the history books. However, he did admit that he has episodes of short-term memory loss. Something he also says is pretty common among fighters.

Or, it could simply be a side effect of getting older, he said.

For now, Grant is busy working like a "regular guy" to put food on the table. But that doesn't mean the heavy-hitter is closing the door on an MMA comeback.

Question is, did MMA close the door on him?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania