At UFC 148, two former light heavyweight champions will go toe-to-toe, as Forrest Griffin steps into the octagon with Tito Ortiz for a third time. Both men have made a name for themselves in the UFC and have helped push the sport to new levels. Ortiz was the man who helped build the organization before the sport was mainstream and Griffin was the man who helped make the sport mainstream in epic fight against Stephan Bonnar at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale.
Griffin (18-7) who is 32 years old is in an awkward place in the sport of MMA. He is not yet at the point of retirement, however he is also not climbing the ladder towards the championship. He recently spoke to FightLine.com about where he thinks he stands in the sport today.
“This Tito fight is what it is, it’s his last fight. Tito was Jon Jones before there was a Jon Jones. He was Chuck Liddell before there was a Chuck Liddell. 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. 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 Gustaffson.”
He isn’t a man who craves the spotlight or the media attention. In fact there are times when he seems down right rude, but that is just who he is. He does not take for granted what the UFC has brought him and he is definitely grateful.
“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. 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.”
So from what it sounds like, following his UFC 148 fight with Tito Ortiz, Forrest will take a step back and assess his future within the organization.
For the whole interview check out FightLine.com.