Grant vs. Maynard: Low hype, high stakes

Friday, May 24, 2013

UFC 160 Saturday night features heavyweights Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt, and UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez vs. challenger Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva.

However, heavyweight is not widely held to be the UFC’s most competitive division. The most competitive division is arguable lightweight, but there is a lightweight title contender bout on the main card, T.J. Grant vs. Gray Maynard, that is receiving scant attention.

Canadian T.J. Grant is on a four-fight win streak, but understands the lack of hype.

“The fans right now don’t really know who I am,” said Grant. “They’re probably going, ‘Why is he going to fight for a title?’ I know if I go out and fight the way I’m trained to do and the way I’m prepared to do, there will be a lot less people saying that when they actually get to see me fight.”

UFC President Dana White kind of sneaked in the announcement at the news conference after Henderson’s win against Gilbert Melendez in April. There was nothing grandiose about it; just two guys fighting, with the winner getting a title shot.

“I was a little surprised,” Maynard told “I was happy, of course. But I was at that point in the camp where I was a little tired halfway through. It was a kick in the butt. It was a little jump-start.”

“I’m on a big card. You’ve got Cain and Junior, two huge names and guys the whole country goes behind. It’s to be expected a little bit. But afterward, there will be a lot of talk.”

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So what do you think UG? Who will win, and get the shot at UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson?