TJ Grant's nasty knockout of former title-challenger Gray Maynard in May, 2013, was a violent and impressive feat that earned the Canadian a shot at the UFC lightweight title. Unfortunately, because of a concussion sustained while he trained for a UFC 164 bout against then-champion Benson Henderson, Grant has still not fought again since that win over Maynard.
To this day, Grant is dealing with the brain injury he sustained during training and does not know when he'll be able to return to competition. In a recent interview with Luke Thomas, Grant revealed that this past winter he considered retiring from fighting out of frustration.
"Yup, I did," he said.
"I probably did that a lot over the winter. It just got frustrating. I just tried take it one day at a time. I love fighting. I don't know what my life would be without somehow being involved in the sport. There were just times where you have all these really negative thoughts and you're bitter and all this other stuff. I feel pretty good. It's all in the past. Still, my health comes number one and my family and all that, but fighting is definitely a huge part of my life. I definitely don't want to go out on that type of note."
Grant went on to say that he has been feeling better, of late, and believes that he is approaching 100 percent capabilities once more. "I've been feeling pretty good for a while. If you don't feel normal - and there's definitely been days where, do I feel normal? No - but when I feel good, I feel good," he said.
"I'm getting pretty close to feeling 100 percent normal, but still a little bit of a hurdle."
Although he admitted to not being able to know for sure if it will end up being possible, Grant said that he hopes to be back fighting in the fall. "My goals are to get back in there this fall," he said.
"It's kinda beyond my control, but I think just being in this state for so long, I know my head's good, but I've been having some issues with my neck and I want to make sure I can get everything sorted out and reset my body. It's been in state for so long that I don't know if it's my brain's telling my body there's pain or there's inflammation or what. Hopefully I can get this fixed up in the next bit."
Since losing his title shot, Grant has had to watch others fill-in and hit new heights in his place. Anthony Pettis is now the UFC lightweight champion and Gilbert Melendez will get the next crack at gold.
Who do you want to see Grant fight when he returns to the Octagon? Let us know in the comments section!