An anniversary is rapidly approaching for Forrest Griffin other than that marking twelve months of marriage to his long-time girlfriend. With only a handful of events left in 2010, and his last appearance in the Octagon coming in late November 2009 against Tito Ortiz, the former UFC light heavyweight champ is at risk of sitting on the sidelines for more than a year after sustaining a shoulder injury and having to withdraw from a scheduled bout against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 114 last May.
However, Griffin recently made it clear in a conversation with MMAFighting‘s Ariel Helwani he plans to avoid extending his absence from the ring much longer and should be back in the mix within the next 2-3 months.
“My goal right now is to win a fight before the end of the year,” Griffin explained. “The last fight they asked me who I wanted to fight, I said I don’t care who but I would really want to fight in Las Vegas and they gave me that and I backed out of that fight. So, I kind of feel like they gave me what I asked for and I backed out, so I’m kind of at their mercy.”
With UFC 122 and UFC 123 scheduled for November, it seems more likely the affable, original TUF champion won’t see action until either UFC 124 or possibly UFC 125 on January 1st 2011 in order to properly train for the bout.
UFC 124 is expected to occur at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and be headlined by Georges St. Pierre defending his welterweight strap against Josh Koscheck. Meanwhile, the promotion’s annual New Year’s line-up is always one of the company’s strongest, and Griffin’s popularity could make sense alongside rumored pairings on the card between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, as well as Brandon Vera and Thiago Silva.
Griffin is 17-6 in his career with wins over some of the biggest names in MMA, including the afore-mentioned Ortiz, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and current 205-pound title-holder Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. He also holds victories over Jeff Monson, Chael Sonnen, and of course Stephan Bonnar in one of the most iconic, important bouts in the sport’s history.