At UFC on Fox 6 Saturday night, T.J. Grant entered himself into the lightweight title sweepstakes with a first-round knockout of Matt Wiman. After the fight, another rugged and well-rounded lightweight was on a lot of lips—including Grant's—as a potential next opponent.
"One guy who I think would be really exciting (to fight) is Jim Miller," Grant said during the post-fight press conference.
Though Grant (20-5) emphasized that he was willing to fight anyone and was careful not to out-and-out demand Miller (22-4), the fight does make sense for both sides. Both men are grapplers at heart but have developed powerful stand-up games. Grant tends to rely on Muay Thai, whereas Miller is more of a boxer.
Grant is on the rise after winning his first four fights at 155 pounds (two of them by stoppage). After a good, though not great, 16-5 run as a welterweight, Grant dropped down a weight class in 2011 and has been tough to stop ever since. Grant has now defeated Shane Roller, Carlo Prater, Evan Dunham and Wiman in succession.
Miller, once firmly "in the mix" at the top of the weight class, finds himself on the comeback trail after losing to Nate Diaz in May. At UFC 155, Miller got back in the win column by defeating Joe Lauzon in arguably the best fight of 2012.
Grant was humble during the post-fight press conference but still firm in staking his claim to a top-10 opponent.
"Tonight was a great opportunity for me to showcase my skills," Grant said. "I've had 10 fights in the UFC, and right now I feel like I'm putting it all together."
Some, but not many, fighters may be slightly ahead of Grant and Miller for a shot at Benson Henderson's lightweight belt. These include Rafael dos Anjos and Anthony Pettis, who may have become the next title challenger Saturday night with his first-round TKO of Donald Cerrone.