Though he’s never been the most technical or most athletic, Forrest Griffin wins fights. By virtue of his heart, determination and boundless enthusiasm for fighting, the former Georgia cop has ascended to the pinnacle of the sport of MMA.
Since his career-making fight against Stephan Bonnar in the finale of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, Griffin has established himself as one of the hardest workers in the game as well as one of the most spirited fighters to have ever competed in the young sport of MMA. After his time on TUF, Griffin evolved his game, moved to Las Vegas to train out of Xtreme Couture and eventually captured the UFC light heavyweight title. Improbably too, by the estimation of many.
Griffin holds wins over some of the best in the business and is widely considered to be one of the top ten light heavyweight fighters in the world, but, in his recent blog post for Yahoo! Sports, the 32-year-old revealed that his passion for the sport has waned. It’s not a dream for the sardonic 205’er anymore, just a job.
“It quit being fun when I realized I wasn’t getting better,” Griffin wrote. “I’m plateauing or almost getting worse sometimes. One of the essential elements to have in this is your perceived expectation of the future, and I’m a painful realist, so I realized that I’m not going to get better; this is it. It’s only gonna get worse from here on and you fight as much as you can, you fight until you don’t have it anymore, and then you fight a couple more times after that.”
Though he expressed interest in injecting new life into his training camp by possibly honing his skills somewhere like the American Kickboxing Academy and stated that he’s cognizant of the fact that his particular position in life is enviable to most, Griffin explained that he’s essentially lost his hunger and is just going through the motions at this point.
“Your cat’s sick, you can’t pay your rent, and for 15 or 25 minutes, however long, you’re free of that. It’s real hard for that to enter your mind when somebody’s choking your face off. You’re in that moment of getting your face choked. You ain’t thinking about the bills, your mortgage or your boss,” he said. “It’s freedom from that. Well, now, the problem is that I’ve got a good life. I don’t want freedom from my good life. I love my life. I’ve got an awesome wife, my cat’s cool, he’s pretty healthy, and life’s pretty good.
“Now I don’t need a reprieve from life.”
Griffin is currently scheduled to rematch Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the co-main event of UFC 134 later this month. A lack of fire could very well be Griffin’s undoing against as dangerous a fighter as Shogun, so check back on FightLine.com on August 27 for our live coverage of the fight card to see if Griffin’s workmanlike attitude will be enough to carry him to victory — or whether the fight will mark the beginning of a steep decline in his career.