Frustrated TJ Grant still battling lingering concussion symptoms

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The concussion that dashed TJ Grant's title shot continues to plague the lightweight contender.

According to a report from Ariel Helwani on Wednesday's UFC Tonight, while Grant is responding better to his injury than he had been in prior months, he's still less than 100-percent and is unsure when he'll be able to return to the fighting.

Grant is targeting a tentative date of Christmas, after which he hopes to resume training, although that timetable is far from certain. Of late Grant has focused on increasing his heart rate when exercising and not exerting himself too far.

Grant, 29, earned a lightweight title shot against then-champion Benson Henderson earlier this year after stunningly knocking out Gray Maynard in just two minutes at UFC 160. The performance punctuated a five-fight win streak, which also included a first-round stoppage of Matt Wiman and a ‘Fight of the Night' victory over Evan Dunham.

However a mid-July concussion suffered in training forced Grant to abandon his opportunity over to Anthony Pettis, who went on to submit Henderson in the first round at UFC 164. Grant was then rumored to be Pettis' first challenge at UFC on FOX 9, though once again lingering concussion symptoms prevented the bout from coming to fruition.

While Grant admits that the uncertainty of his situation has been frustrating, he believes it's only a matter of time before he fights again. Though when he does, it's likely he'll have to re-earn his spot at the front of the line.

"He's in limbo," UFC President Dana White recently said of Grant. "He might come back and have to fight another fight. We've got to keep this thing rolling."

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