When T.J. Grant pulled out of UFC 164’s main event with a concussion and was replaced by Anthony Pettis, the conspiracy theorists came out in full force. Actually, to hear UFC president Dana White tell it, those conspiracy theories started even before Grant was forced form the August 31 fight card, they began when Anthony Pettis was forced from UFC 163’s main event.
Speaking to the media on Saturday following UFC on Fox 8, White said that as soon as Pettis was forced from the August 3 card with a knee injury, the talk of a conspiracy to get Grant off the UFC 164 fight card and replace him with Pettis began. White said: “It was how long before Zuffa f**ks T.J. Grant, and then T.J. Grant gets hurt, he's out.”
There are a few reasons that these conspiracies took hold. Firstly, UFC 164 is booked for Pettis’ hometown of Milwaukee. Secondly, Grant was booked to face UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, the man who holds the title that Pettis covets. Oh, and the last person to beat Henderson? Yeah, that was Pettis.
You may remember that fight, and if you don’t, just Google “Showtime Kick” and you’re sure to hit on a video of one of the most memorable moments in MMA history.
Anyway, White dismissed those conspiracies on Saturday, saying: “It's just that the way that it worked out was crazy, but finally something worked out in my favor, where guys get hurt and good fights are still made.”
How did it work out in White’s favor? He spoke about that as well: “What happened was, he (Pettis) had a small tear in his ACL or meniscus. They said it didn't need surgery, but that it needed four weeks of physical therapy, and all that s**t happened and we got him checked out and yeah, he could take the fight."
White said that Pettis was looked at by the UFC doctor and was given the all clear for UFC 164: “If the doctor tells me, the guys ok. If the doctor says he’s not ok, he's not ok. Our guy, especially our guy that does all the knee, shoulder and joint stuff, he pushes it. When he says a guy can't fight I listen to what he says.”
White’s words probably won’t put all the conspiracy theories to rest, but it should, at the very least, quiet some of the talk that the promotion shafted Grant out of his title shot.
*All quotes obtained first hand by Bleacher Report.