At UFC 97 Montreal fans will get their first taste of one of the brightest young stars of the Canadian North when TJ Grant takes on Ryo Chonan. With a 13-2 record with 11 submission wins Grant will look to build on his 4 fight winning streak when he enters the UFC’s octagon for the first time.
MMATraining.com writer and professional fighter who has trained with Grant and has fought alongside him at TKO events, Jeff Harrison, sat down with Grant to discuss his thoughts just 10 days before UFC 97.
Jeff: Ryo Chonan is no joke. Those who have never heard of you might count you out, but those of us who do know you are definately counting you in. Still it promises to be a difficult fight. What do you think are the most important things you have to do to make your UFC debut a success?
TJ: The most important thing for me is to be in great shape and stay relaxed… its just a fight and fighting is what i know best. If I fight my fight I will do very good.
Jeff: What has your training camp been like? Can you give the MMAtraining.com readers a sample of what a day in the life of TJ Grant is like getting prepared for the UFC?
TJ: Training camp has been the best one yet. 6 days a week and most days 2 sessions… conditioning for the most part in the morning and everything else in the evening. Feeling really good and looking to show it on the 18th.
Jeff: Who are you training with?
TJ: Training here at Fitplus. Scott really got me in great shape. There is a whole group of guys who helped me train…Ryan Jimmo,Tristan Johnson,and a number of other guys. We also had Cory MacDonald down a few weeks ago to help me out as well we just had “Funky” Ben Askren down along with Michael Chandler to really push my wrestling.
Jeff: Ryo Chonan has had to face some top notch competition in Ricardo Almieda, Carlos Newton, Anderson silva, Karo Parysian. Dan henderson, and the list goes on. He has been through the mental process before. He has been in the big show and some people see this as being his biggest advantage. What are you doing to prepare yourself for the mental and emotional aspects of this huge opportunity?
TJ: I am just preparing to get in there and fight my fight. Im not worrying about him I am preparing my self to fight at my best…and when the time comes that’s just what I’ll do.
Jeff: I know you’ve been working extensively on your thaiboxing in Thailand, and at home, and it has showed in your last performances. Any chance we’ll see a stand up war between Ryo and yourself?
TJ: I am gonna be ready no matter where the fight goes. You need to be well rounded in this game so whatever it takes to win.
Jeff: Your record is a very impressive 13-2.. One of the “L’s” being a loss to Jesse Bongfield in TKO.. Would you like to meet up with Jesse again and avenge that loss? I know I want to see that!
TJ: That was a good fight. Jesse is a tough SOB. I was hoping we could rematch in tko but that couldn’t happen. Wish him the best and hope to see him in the big show some day
Jeff: How has your life in general been affected by this fight? What sort of sacrifices are you making?
TJ: Life is the same right now…Lots of people giving me their support. I just want to make everyone proud and give people something to cheer about.
Jeff: Have a message to your fans?
TJ: Yeah, thanks for all your support!