It’s not quite what he was hoping for, but T.J. Grant has booked his next Ultimate Fighting Championship bout.
The Cole Harbour mixed martial arts fighter signed a contract late Tuesday night to face Rory Markham on June 20 in Las Vegas as part of The Ultimate Fighter 9, a Spike television series. The bout will likely be part of the undercard.
Grant had initially been slated to face Martin Kampmann (15-2) on the main card of the same event, but Kampmann backed out after his manager initially agreed to the fight.
“He’s coming off a really big win and I really don’t have as big a name as he wants,” said Grant. “I can see where he was coming from. I’m new to UFC and an unknown to mainstream fans, so he thought the risk outweighed the reward.”
Grant won his debut against Ryo Chonan at UFC 97 last month. He was eager to face Kampmann on the main card, as Spike’s live coverage would have put him in the spotlight. The undercard might not provide the same opportunity.
“It would have been awesome exposure and it would have been a really good fight for me,” Grant said.
“I think we would have put on a really good fight for the show.”
Markham is 16-5 with 11 knockouts and is 1-1 in UFC bouts. His fights don’t usually last long, win or lose.