TJ Grant back to '90-95 percent;' has eyes on first UFC card in Halifax

Esther Lin

Top lightweight contender T.J. Grant isn't all the way back from the concussion which derailed his title shot.

But the good news is, the Nova Scotia native has returned to the gym and has eyes on a specific date.

"I'm a lot better than I was," Grant told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight. "I'm getting closer and closer, I want to approach my return with as much care as I can."

Grant suffered a concussion while working on jiu-jitsu in training for what was planned to be a shot against then-champion Benson Henderson at UFC 164. Grant had to pull out of the bout, then his replacement, Anthony Pettis, submitted Henderson to take the title.

It was expected Grant (21-5), who won five straight fights to earn his title shot, would meet Pettis at UFC on FOX 9 in December, but Grant wasn't clear to return.

Since then, although he's not at 100 percent, Grant says he's almost there.

"I'm not training full on yet, but I've been getting on the mats and hitting pads, not having any set backs," Grant said. "I feel about 90-95 percent recovered."

Meanwhile, there's a particular date on the UFC's crowded 2014 schedule which caught Grant's attention: Oct. 4, when the company makes its debut in Grant's home province, at the Halifax Metro Centre for a UFC Fight Night card.

"I would love to fight in Halifax," Grant said. "But as soon as I'm 100 percent, I'll let UFC know and leave it up to them."

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