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Forrest Griffin: “I want to fight on my own terms.”

This Sunday Forrest Griffin will celebrate his 33rd birthday. The following Saturday night he’ll face legendary light heavyweight Tito Ortiz in co-headlining action at UFC 148 where the two will complete a trilogy featuring a pair of opposing Split Decisions. Perhaps it’s the fact Ortiz is retiring after the bout or the annual reminder of mortality but the situation in general has Griffin thinking about his future.

The affable Ultimate Fighter OG recently reflected on what tomorrow may bring in his career, showing a stark sincerity where his limited years left in the sport were concerned and humility regarding his accomplishments in the cage.

“I don’t know what the future holds for me because I won’t look past Tito, but when this fight is over I will sit down and assess what I want to do. There are some fights out there that do get me excited,” began Griffin in an interview with Fightline. “I like what Matt Hughes is doing. He picks the fights that he thinks he can win and does it on his own terms. I want to fight on my own terms. I’m on the other side of the fence now and don’t see myself fighting these younger guys like Alexander Gustafsson.”

Griffin also acknowledged the looming discussion on retirement, admitting he’d already exceeded his own expectations but would soldier on until it stopped making sense to do so.

“I really don’t know how I want to be remembered when my fighting days are over. It’s an honor if people do remember me at all. For now I will keep fighting as long as my body holds up and I can keep doing it,” he revealed. “No one wants to stop fighting and have to get a real job, especially me! Fighters want to fight forever. When people retire they wind up dying! When I first started fighting I just wanted to make enough money so I wouldn’t have to work. I never thought I’d wind up a UFC champion, maybe in some distant dream I did, but I never imagined it would really happen.”


  • Richard Stabone says:

    “I want to fight on my own terms.”

    I translate that statement as basically saying, “I’ve reached the top of the mountain but my window has closed and I want to close things out on my terms.”

    And from there it quickly becomes that slippery slope — sticking around to fight for a while (whether for their own ego, money, love of the sport/competition, or a combination of those things) vs. hanging on too long and the risk of doing damage to their legacy and/or long-term health.

    Quite a few guys in that general area right now, at various stages…

    Big Nog

    And Mir soon to join that mix, IMO.

    Anyway, nothing wrong with guys hanging around for a while even if they’re past their ultimate peak. It can still lead to exciting fights, with sometimes interesting matchups where there’s history involved, etc. But once a guy starts expecting to play a big role in matchmaking (“fight on my terms”) it pretty much means it’s no longer part of a path to title contendership. That’s sort of the trade off, as I see it.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    Yep ,you are correct ,sir.
    One post fight question I get tired of is “Where do you see youself in the title picture?”
    Not all fights are about being in the title picture.
    Win or lose ,Forrest has the Everyman’s Championship Belt until that other guy( what’s his name? Oh yah Stephan Bonner) beats him for it.
    Both of these guys are in a class by themselves and I’d love to see Griffin vs. Bonner X if they both wanna hang around that long.


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