Longtime UFC lightweight fighter Tyson Griffin looked Saturday night to rebound from two consecutive losses (to Evan Dunham and Takanori Gomi). Griffin took on 20-3-2 fighter Nik Lentz on the preliminary card of UFC 123. The Xtreme Couture-trained fighter believed he had done so until the judges’ decision was announced. Griffin lost a controversial split-decision to Lentz, and discussed the heartbreaking defeat to MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani.
“I thought the fight went my way, 30-27. One of the judges saw it that way. I don’t know how two other judges saw it 29-28 to him…,” Griffin said. “I slammed him, I outwrestled him, I dropped him, I don’t know how else you win a fight. It’s kind of discouraging to put all this hard work in and not know how to win almost.”
Once considered a frontrunner for the lightweight title, Griffin has stumbled as of late and he confided in Helwani that this most recent loss had him bewildered and broken down.
“I mean, almost on the verge of tears,” he said. “I’ve had decisions before, so I can’t really complain but it’s pretty heartbreaking. Like I said, it’s almost like I don’t know how to win anymore. I thought I did the right things. You look at my face, you look at his face, it looked like he was in a car accident, I looked like I just got out of practice. I don’t know what the judges are looking at.”
The most recent reports indicate that Griffin will be keeping his UFC job despite his recent three-fight losing streak. Griffin holds an overall record of 14-5 and a UFC record of 7-5.