Signs of an ending era? Come next Saturday, we will witness MMA pioneer Tito Ortiz hang it up for good. With that sentiment, fellow pioneer and UFC 148 opponent, Forrest Griffin hints at his own pending retirement.
In a recent interview with ESPN he talked about his thoughts on what the future in the fight game holds for him.
“I don’t know. It’s not going to be a long time. I don’t foresee the huge comeback. I worked out with that (Alexander) Gustafsson kid. Young guys, man. I’m old now. I like what Rich Franklin has done, there’s still a lot of guys I can beat — but I don’t know how many of those guys are in the Top 10. I’m still, I’d say, one of the Top 25 guys in the world at 205 pounds; problem is I keep fighting the top 5-to-10 guys in the world.”
The TUF season one winner is of the opinion that he can still be competitive and put on fights in the octagon, but that he does not belong in competition with the top of the division any longer (sorry Tito). Griffin mentions Rich Franklin’s name as one who he could follow his career after. There is an underlying message there.
Franklin’s career as of late has had the former champ exiled from the weight class he proved most of his successful in. He took on fights at 205 pounds because he had already lost to the now reigning champ, Anderson Silva twice. Still Franklin has the desire to be a champion as he is now prepping to make a final run at 185 before he closes out his career.How Griffin draws parallels to Franklin’s story is anyone’s guess.
Could Griffin be considering a move up to heavyweight to finish out his career? Being a heavier set light heavyweight, comparable in frame to Roy Nelson, it’s certainly a possibility. The only issue is that if Griffin’s desires to be the best is truly gone, what motivation does the former champ have?