It’s kinda funny how history repeats itself sometimes. Think back to Griffin vs Shogun … everyone basically golf-clapped Forrest for requesting the fight, and then couldn’t believe it when Forrest not only won the fight, but dominated it. Now once again, no one really gave Forrest much of a chance. Sure, there were articles out there trying to justify how Griffin might challenge Rampage despite being less strong, having worse hands, and a suspect chin. But most of them were full of words like ‘heart’, ‘determination’, ‘could’ and ‘might’.
I’m gonna admit … I didn’t give Forrest much of a chance myself. He’s one of those guys who just doesn’t seem to have any killer tools at his disposal, so surely against a heavy handed individual like Quinton Jackson, he was guaranteed to get knocked the fuck out. I mean, we’re talking about someone who got caught by Keith Jardine here.
But Forrest proved me and everyone else wrong … while there’s certainly room to say Quinton Jackson won the fight, I’d say the judges made the right call in awarding the fight to Forrest. If you think it was a robbery, let me ask you this: Did Rampage manage to pull off a 10-8 round like Forrest did? Did Rampage hurt Forrest like Forrest hurt Rampage’s leg? And did Rampage nearly pull off any submissions like Forrest did? Rampage’s striking looked dangerous throughout the entire fight but never knocked Forrest stupid. Forrest on the other hand just seemed … on.
In the end, you can always make an excuse for Forrest winning. That’s what lots of people did with Shogun. “Oh, something was wrong with Shogun, he must have been injured.” And now “Oh, if Rampage hadn’t taken 9 months off, things would have been different.” Even Rampage mentioned that after the fight. I have to wonder if he was cursing the long layover as he kept hitting air with his uppercuts time after time. Perhaps that’s why Forrest won … or rather Quinton lost.
But me, I’m just going to accept Forrest Griffin as a sort of spiritual successor to Randy Couture … a guy who keeps coming up short on paper but who always rises to the occasion and finds a way to win. From now on when he fights, I’m not going to count him out like I did this time (and that time before too). As cheesy as it is to say – especially coming from a jaded asshole like me – but Forrest Griffin made me a believer tonight.