Grant expects entertaining fight

NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:58 AM ET

MONTREAL -- UFC president Dana White hates it, (The Prodigy) B.J. Penn has slammed other fighters who do it, and fans in attendance boo whenever they see it.

They have all come out against competitors who play it safe and try to simply control contests en route to capturing decision victories.

The way Nova Scotia native T.J. Grant sees it, a conservative approach is only one of two extremes. The other is fighting against your own strengths simply to entertain.

"Numerous times you see guys with great grappling pedigrees –- wrestling or jiu jitsu –- but then they go out there just to make fans cheer and throw punches," Grant (16-4) said in an interview with QMI Agency. "Maybe they lose a fight, but (it was exciting). I don't agree with that.

"When you go out there, within the first second when you touch gloves, let the guy know you're in a fight. The fans just want to see a fight, whether it's a good grappling match or a striking battle. They just want to see both guys pushing the fight the whole time."

Grant is set to face Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Ricardo (Big Dog) Almeida (12-4) on the undercard of UFC 124 this Saturday in Montreal. The event will be headlined by a welterweight title match between Georges (Rush) St. Pierre and Josh (Kos) Koscheck.

Grant said when the bell rings, he will let Almeida know that he's coming to fight and expects an entertaining contest regardless of whether they hit the mat or stay standing. If he should find himself on the canvas, Grant said the last thing he wants to do is let the pace drop.

"On the ground, you just don't want to make it a slow, methodical jiu jitsu match where it's going to play in his favour," Grant said. "I want to be careful when I scramble back to my feet because he's got a good guillotine and other submissions, as well. You've got to watch out because he's dangerous and can latch on with submissions.

"I'm sure at this stage -– he's been around for a long time -– he's comfortable in all facets of the game, as am I. I think he's probably going to try and take the fight to the ground. We'll see. You never know. I won't be surprised by anything."

In order to prepare for Almeida's submission game, Grant headed down to Rio de Janeiro to train with BJJ and MMA academy Nova Uniao, which is home to UFC featherweight champion Jose (Junior) Aldo.

"Getting to train with so many high-level grapplers definitely helps you prepare to face a guy like Ricardo Almeida," Grant said. "There are just so many top MMA guys, as well as jiu jitsu guys (training there). It was an awesome experience."

Hot off a unanimous decision win over Julio (Dominican Demon) Paulino at UFC 119, Grant hopes a win over Almeida will earn him a spot on the main card of an upcoming UFC event.

"I know I've got a tough fight and can't really call anyone out right now," Grant said. "I've got to beat Ricardo Almeida and that's no easy task. This win should propel me forward and hopefully the UFC will take notice. I'm not saying I haven't been getting tough fights because this is a really tough fight, but maybe I'll get on the pay-per-view. That's always a goal. Get my name out there and eventually get in the top 10."


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