Forrest Griffin walks the walk

I think the whole fight community let out a universal “Huh?” when we all learned that Forrest Griffin *requested* to fight Mauricio Shogun Rua. My opinion went from   “Forrest had unusually large balls” to “Well, losing to Shogun is better than losing to another lame guy like Jardine“. I don’t think anyone saw Griffin taking this one, let alone dominating the fight and submitting Rua late into the third.

I’m sure there’s a few very happy gamblers and some very upset bookies coming out of this fight. To me this was fight of the night … I went into it liking Forrest but not believing he could beat Shogun. Simply put, I was off the Griffin bandwagon after he went all pussy during his bout with Hector Ramirez. He won some points back for admitting he was afraid of getting knocked out, some nice candor in an industry where most guys won’t admit that kinda shit (let alone cry in the Octagon after a loss). And now he’s won back a lot more points for his performance against Shogun.

I’d like to say I’m back on the Forrest bandwagon, but right now I don’t feel worthy of getting on his bandwagon. So I’ll just walk behind it and do some penance for not believing in him.

  • dignan

    I feel exactly the same way.

    Forrest really battled through that fight, although Shogun was 90% gassed midway through the second round. It was my opinion that the UFC put a couple of cream puff matches together for the rising of a superstar in the UFC, and to get Chuck back to the top as quickly as possible.

    It amazed me that all of the fights, the lone exception being the Machida fight(which I found to be a snorefest.), were better than 90% of the championship fights I have seen of late.

    I am also surprised that they didn’t talk up Xtreme Couture more. Typically I just want to bash the name since it has the word Xtreme, and you could not get lamer than that…but all of their fighters had specific gameplans and exceptional talent.

    Great site by the way.

  • Mr. Chris

    I was wrong for sure. That did not look like the Shogun that I watched in Pride. He looked smaller than usual and he was gassed in the first round. How was that the same guy that would be pushing a relentless pace 8 minutes into a Pride first round?

  • dignan

    I thought twice about mentioning it, but Rua was WAAAAAAAAY smaller than he normally looks. I actually thought I had my pride fighters mixed up for a second when he took his shirt off.

    So far Crocop, Gomi, and Rua have all been easily gassed and whooped since joining the UFC.

    I initially allowed the excuses, i.e.: time change, food poisoning, the flu etc..etc…and my favorite, the fighter didn’t take the fight seriously enough. However, the more these champions and studs from pride get mowed down by the TUFers of the UFC, it makes you wonder.

    I’ve never thought of Fedor as a fellow who would take any illegal shit, but it makes you wonder if the contract talks are stalled because he knows he would have to stop taking the same shit the rest of the top Pride guys were taking. All speculation of course, but if the shoe fits…

  • http://flyingguardpass.blogspot.com/ garth

    I think what we saw with Griffin (two wins for Griffins on Saturday, eh?) was a fighter still developing. He learned, he improved, he came in with a plan (this parallels Jardine as well). Rua (and Chuck) came in with their normal gameplans, which worked pretty well for them in the past, and got beat. Personally I thought you could make a strong argument for Jardine winning all three rounds. He punished Chuck with kicks.
    I thought it was a good exciting event, though not quite up to PPV par. I liked that they showed five fights.
    I thought Machida was pretty convincing, not half as boring as I’ve read…he’s powerful and hits hard. Nakamura’s a tough dude, and to throw him around like that (even though Rogan made a good point about him going to 185) was impressive. Machida’s defending all those judo throws from an accomplished Judoka like Nakamura was pretty nice too. It was similar to what happened with Hendo-Rampage…two guys who are wary of each other and have good defense. Nakamura was able to fend off many of Machida’s attacks as well. I’d like to see Lyoto against some more top-shelf 205lb competition. Shogun-Machida might be interesting, and they’re right on the same schedule right now…

  • http://flyingguardpass.blogspot.com/ garth

    #3: gomi didn’t join the UFC.

  • dignan

    Garth:

    Sorry just referring to his Pride fight in Vegas against Nick Diaz where he gassed about half way through the first round.

  • Fred

    Forrest had a good fight, but it doesn’t mean that he’s the next “King of MMA”. I doubt that he will be able to sustain wins against other top guys. Tito crushed Forrest, and Tito is about at the same level as Rashad right now. Forrest has proven he’s top 10, but he’s not top 5 by any means.

  • Matt

    Geez, ppl say some shit w/o having the facts to back them up… Tito crushed Forrest now everybody..The controversial decision was just in our heads.. Forrest hansn’t improved at all since then and Tito obviously is training his Thai.

  • Zurich

    Okay – “performance enhancers” – there, it’s all out in the open now, we can stop tip-toeing around it. Cro Cop, Shogun, Nogueira, and even Nakamura have all looked slow/sluggish, much less muscular, and have generally put on terrible performances since fighting in the UFC. I don’t know if it’s the lighting (…) or what, but c’mon.. like the guy said, if the shoe fits…

    As for all the Machida hate, I don’t know whats wrong with you people. That Machida fight was fantastic – the guy is so technical, so fast, and so cunning.. and this time he was aggressive and looking to finish. Machida/Nakamura was _WAY_ better than Shogun/Nakamura (with Pride rules and “other” benefits too). Machida looked so fast on his feet, I truly think he can beat anyone at 205lbs. Really, the only guy I think that’d give him problems is Anderson Silva, and they’re in different weight classes (and teammates).

    As for Shogun… 185lbs looks good. At least then he’d be forced to work on his cardio/diet…

  • http://tanglebones.com/ Jemaleddin

    Of course Forrest isn’t top 5 – but he *is* 28 years old and obviously somebody that responds well to coaching and training. With that and his work ethic, he’s got the goods to *be* top 5.

  • Trol

    Forrest always brings it in his fights. His striking is improving in every fight. He was a straight brawler and would throw crazy haymakers. Now he has become more refined and picks his strikes as well putting together combinations. That being said, I thought he would go the distant with Shogun but would lose the decision. I am actually glad I was wrong.

  • http://www.fightlinker.com fightlinker

    Zurich: Just because guys are in the UFC doesn’t mean they’ve stopped juicing. Most users in other sports cycle off their drugs so they test clean. While there is a difference between a fighter who’s off the sauce for two weeks before an event and a guy who just got an assload of shit two hours before a fight, it’s not THAT big of a difference.

  • dignan

    Nakamura was just so outclassed, and I found it boring. It was evident to me that Nakamura wasn’t going to sustain any sort of challenge to Machida…sorta like the main events were supposed to go.

    At least we know there wasn’t any fight fixing.

  • shanaconda

    Say sixteen ‘Hail Forrest”s
    then break your arm and don’t get it fixed
    then you will be absolved my son and allowed back into the flock

  • Zurich

    fightlinker – I totally agree with you. I just wonder if the Pride guys aren’t as used to cycling as other athletes in the U.S., so they end up avoiding the juice all together to ensure a clean test? But like, it’s retarded – Nog, CroCop, Nakamura, and now Shogun have all looked small, flabby, slow, and terrible. Only Rampage seems to still “bring it” – wtf?

  • Ted Dibiase

    i never thought shogun was a big or muscular guy

    the ufc has issues with steroids testing too

  • http://www.myspace.com/96273771 Tommy

    I’ll stay off that wagon myself. He will cry again.

  • http://mmabjj.wordpress.com Matto

    “An assload of shit,” lol.

    Forrest has won my heart again. He kind of did it in TUF with his funny monkey face and his broken arm and that, then I kind of forgot about him after Tito Ortiz squeaked out the win. Then I just laughed a bit when he cried after The Dean of Scraggly Beard knocked him out.

    Now, he rules again.

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