UFC on Fox 6 Results: 5 Fights for TJ Grant to Take Next
UFC lightweight T.J. Grant is on a roll.
After winning a decision against highly regarded Evan Dunham last September, the grappling wizard earned a vicious knockout victory over "Handsome" Matt Wiman at Saturday's UFC on Fox 6 event.
The Canadian now stands 4-0 inside the Octagon since dropping down from the welterweight division. With this victory, he announces himself as a dark-horse contender in the toughest division in MMA.
Here is a look at five potential fights for T.J. Grant to take next.
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Jamie Varner had an incredible comeback in 2012. With wins over Edson Barboza and Melvin Guillard, the former WEC champion surprised many with his success.
With solid wrestling and powerful striking, Varner is an excellent matchup for a hot prospect like Grant.
Although he fares well against any style of opponent, the only stylistic matchup that gave Varner trouble in the UFC was the jiu-jitsu game of Joe Lauzon. Would he be able to get over that hurdle in a matchup against Grant?
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When Strikeforce brings over its lightweight talent, Pat Healy is going to be a fighter to watch.
The bearded warrior is a grizzled veteran of the sport who puts on entertaining fights every time he steps into the cage.
Healy is currently on a six-fight winning streak under the Strikeforce banner and was expected to fight for the promotion's lightweight championship in 2012.
Grant vs. Healy would make for a solid UFC debut for "Bam Bam," and it also affords Grant the opportunity to face another notable fighter within the division.
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If T.J. Grant is going to keep growing as a title contender, he will need to square off with someone who has competed for championship gold.
Former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson fits the bill nicely. He is coming off a failed bid to recapture his belt against Gilbert Melendez last May.
To stand out among the upper-level lightweights fighting inside the Octagon, Thomson will need to get past someone like Grant in his debut. Meanwhile, if Grant upsets the former champion, it will earn him a major step up in competition in late 2013.
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While it may be difficult to pronounce the name of rising star Khabib Nurmagomedov, it is even tougher to beat him.
The Russian is 3-0 in the UFC and has a professional record of 18-0 with wins over notables like Thiago Tavares and Gleison Tibau.
Considering that Nurmagomedov also scored a first-round knockout last weekend at UFC on FX 7, these two lightweights should be ready to get back into the cage in early spring.
Rafael Dos Anjos
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There are plenty of dark-horse candidates waiting in the wings of the UFC lightweight title picture. One of them comes in the form of dangerous Brazilian Rafael dos Anjos.
An 11-time UFC veteran, dos Anjos is currently riding the best momentum of his career. He has won four of his last five contests, including dominant wins over Mark Bocek and George Sotiropoulos.
Both dos Anjos and Grant are grappling aces who can finish fights with their striking. Grant earned his second UFC KO on Saturday night, while dos Anjos scored an epic finish of Sotiropoulos at UFC 132.