An interview with Forrest Griffin
When fans talk about the overnight success of the UFC, most of the time the first name mentioned is that of Chuck Liddell.
And while “The Iceman” is indeed responsible for taking pay-per-view buys into uncharted territory, it is his television counterpart that helped transform mixed martial arts into an acceptable form of mainstream entertainment.
If Chuck Liddell was the manifesto, then Forrest Griffin was the revolution itself.
Live on Spike TV, in front of an audience that no one was quite sure they would ever capture again, Griffin polarized the causal fan with a gritty performance opposite Stephan Bonnar in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) that may go down as the greatest mixed martial arts fight ever featured on live television.
And to the victor belong the spoils.
Griffin would eventually legitimize not only himself, but also the TUF farm system by capturing the light heavyweight title from Quinton Jackson at UFC 86. He may have subsequently surrendered that title to another TUF grad, Rashad Evans at UFC 92, but he will never surrender his legacy in the evolution of the UFC.
Now, after spending most of the year sidelined with a broken hand he suffered back in January, Griffin is poised to return at UFC 101 on August 8, against mixed martial arts’ deadliest warrior: Anderson “The Spider” Silva.
Griffin was called to duty to succeed where others have failed. His mission is not just to dethrone the Brazilian juggernaut, but to force him to engage, and prove himself worthy of the championship title.
We know why, now find out how, in our exclusive interview with Forrest Griffin.
Brian Oswald (MMAmania.com): You were all set to take on a tough opponent in Thiago Silva and he seemed like an ideal match-up for you coming off the hand injury. Why did you decide to fight Anderson Silva instead?
Forrest Griffin: I didn’t feel I was as mentally tough as I should have been preparing for the fight. I wanted to really test myself. You see a lot of guys fight Anderson and they just don’t look like themselves. They don’t look like they want to be there or look like they have any confidence. I want to at least come in and fight up to my ability. So this fight will either bring out the best in me … or I will have to go out and find a real job.
Brian Oswald (MMAmania.com): It seemed like