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Forrest Griffin will Always be Dana White’s Ultimate Fighter

So I’m sitting at home watching another boring episode of “The Ultimate Fighter: Season 9.” At this point I just feel obligated to watch the show as an MMA fan. I have totally lost interest, don’t really care who wins and really only wait for Dana White to appear and rip some poor soul for not having what it takes to be a fighter.

But tonight was worth watching. Not for anything that happened on the show, but for Spike TV’s “Inside the Octagon” segment that airs during one of the commercial blocks. Tonight’s guest was Forrest Griffin, the original Ultimate Fighter winner.

Griffin was talking about his recent loss to Rashad Evans and his upcoming fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 101. During the brief interview he said something that really struck me. When asked how he would respond to his loss to Evans, Griffin said:

“I’m not the best fighter in the world. I shouldn’t be champ of anything. This is a way for me to kind of man up. It’s not about being the best fighter in the world. It’s just about committing yourself to winning for one night.”

That statement made me think of two things. First, it’s no wonder Griffin is one of the most popular fighters in the world. But more importantly, it’s that kind of comment that makes Griffin the perfect opponent to get Silva out of his funk.

Now I don’t want to go into the Anderson Silva debate here. But regardless of what your stance on The Spider may be at this time, it’s hard to argue that for whatever reason, the Silva we’ve seen during his last two fights is not the same fighter that’s stepped in the octagon in the past.

I think there may be a lot of differing reasons as to why that may be but most MMA fans agree Silva hasn’t been himself in his last two fights against inferior opponents.

I think most of us would also agree that White has been irate over Silva’s last two performances. The Spider is one of UFC’s top fighters and White can’t have his crowds booing him after two consecutive fights.

After the Thales Leites fight, White knew something needed to be done, so he called on one of his most trusted fighters to fix the problem.

There is no question that Griffin is one of White’s favorite fighters. White loves guys with heart and no one on the UFC roster has a bigger heart than Griffin. No one.

White also has a soft spot for what Griffin has done to help catapult the UFC into the mainstream. He has called the finale of “The Ultimate Fighter: Season 1” between Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, “The most important fight in UFC history.”

So it makes sense that White would ask Griffin to bring out the best in Silva. Griffin’s very nature won’t allow him to sit back and be boring like Leites. Griffin doesn’t enter a fight just hoping to survive. He gives everything he has and would rather lose than lay on his back and just survive for five rounds.

White knows this about Griffin. He knows Silva needs a push. It’s a perfect matchup.

When Griffin makes comments like “I’m not the best fighter in the world. I shouldn’t be champ of anything,” it makes fans want to root for him. But win or lose at UFC 101, you know he’s going to come to fight and he’s going to give everything he’s got. Dana White knows it too.

And here is a prediction: No one will be booing at the end of the Forrest Griffin-Anderson Silva fight.

Forrest Griffin may not be the best fighter in the world but he is, and always will be, Dana White’s ace in the hole. And oh by the way, he’s a darn good fighter as well.

9 COMMENTS
  • TheLevi75 says:

    Forrest is awesome,I have always been a fan of his.I am really hoping that he can pull off the upset in his next fight. I think that he should have a rematch against Jardine if they both lose therenext fights.If he wins then a rematch Shogun for a title shot after Rampage – Machida fight.

  • mikefab says:

    People are never satisfied. Last season people complained because of the way the fighters acted on the show. This year either the fighters are better behaved or the producers got orders not to show anyone acting like a fool. It seems that they are making more of an effort to emphasize the fights and the fighters. This does make for “boring” reality TV, but isn’t that was the MMA community wanted? Focus on the sport and not the antics of a few i.e. Junie Brown. If you are going to complain about fighters getting drunk and peeing in food, then don’t complain “boring” TV when it doesn’t happen. If you watch any reality TV it is all about shock value. I actually appreciate this season, even if it is a little “boring”.

  • Angry Mike says:

    I still enjoy TUF. The hijinks in the house are a little juvenile sometimes, but the fighters are usually bored out of their minds and need something to occupy their time. Besides, what’s the alternative? Some boring network crap like Dances with the Stars, or American Idol? No thanks.

    Although, now that I think of it, wouldn’t it be cool if either of the shows had a MMA fighter run onto the sets at random intervals to try and takedown a contestant? I’d have been a devoted fan of American Idol if I thought there was a chance that Clay Aiken would get slammed. If the performer could fight off the fighter for 5 seconds, he could get a bye intot the next round or extra points on the score.

  • TerribleT says:

    So why is Anderson Silva fighting Forrest Griffin,a top light heavyweight contender?Because if Silva wins what would be next for him since he’s already publicly stated that the UFC light heavyweight division belongs to Machida,his friend who he said he would never fight.It’s a puzzling fight to say the least.

  • baldspot23 says:

    terrible t…did you not read the article?? it clearly explains exactly why forrest is fighting silva!! great fight none the less and i for one can not wait for this fight..and honestly its win win for forrest..if he loses then he lost to one of the greatest p4p fighters in the ufc and if he wins then he automaticly gets a shot a machida for the belt.

  • Mightymark says:

    What I dont get is why is Shogun getting the title shot ahead of Griffin and Rampage and Evans. I would have thought that he would have had to at least fight one of these guys to deserve a shot….

  • GetItOn says:

    Angry Mike –

    Don’t base your opinion of American Idol on Clay Aiken. That show has turned many people into stars in the music industry.

    I am glad that TUF doesn’t show the craziness in the house anymore. I hated seeing grown men act like children. I felt it just made men look bad. Women watching the show certainly don’t want to see a bunch of guys tearing up a house. Idiots.

  • MMApride19 says:

    MightyMark, Shogun is getting the title shot because he has won 2 straight fights AND he is a legitimate top contender. Which really is the main reason, not the fact that he beat an old Mark Coleman, Not the fact that he knocked out Chuck. But the fact he is a legitimate contender. I honestly believe, being a huge fan of Shoguns for many years now, that if and WHEN shogun is in shape, he is one of the most talented, well rounded fighters in the whole of MMA. Thats why, at this moment, i think its only logical to place shogun with machida. He poses legitimate threats, he doesnt come into fights with JUST great striking or JUST great wrestling or JUST dangerous BJJ. My point is Shogun has the toolset most fighters do not have, which is natural ability to fight GREAT in many aspects of mma.

    Now onto the topic, Griffin. I think Forrest Griffin Vs Anderson Silva is going to be one of the most exciting fights this year… Providing Griffin doesnt get knocked out to quickly. I just hope he comes into the fight with a very, very good gameplan. Silva loves pressure, he thrives on it, think back to Dan Henderson fight, or Chris Leben or Even Franklin. All those fighters pressured Silva, walked forward, had him on the back foot. Look at the outcome. Yes, Dana must love Forrest for what he has done for UFC. But to me, it looks like forrest is just a tool to bring out the best in Silva, which is knocking people out. I dont care what anybody says about Silvas last two fights – the fighters (apart from maybe Cote on occasions, but the he hurt his knee) didnt pressure him enough. Silva is a counter striker, and hes shown that in the past, if Forrest sits back, you will be hearing an awfull lot of boos. However, as the article says, Forrest is NOT going to sit back. FACT. Which will play right where Silva wants it, Silva will want Forrest to attack. I respect Griffin, and think hes a great fighter… However i just think that if hes not careful in implementing a good gameplan, Silva will knock him out.

  • Marvin8 says:

    Great article!…and true.

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