Dana White is not one to hold back when he thinks a fighter should retire as his friend Chuck Liddell can attest, and it appears that Forrest Griffin is the latest star who he is urging to hang up his gloves.
“I would like Forrest to retire,” White admitted in a media scrum following the ‘UFC On FOX 4’ pre-fight press conference yesterday. “There’s nothing left or Forrest to prove. He won The Ultimate Fighter and he’s had an amazing career. He won the title when people thought he couldn’t. He became a huge star. He made shitloads of money. He’s got a beautiful wife, he’s got a baby. You know, if you don’t want to be a world champion and you’re still not in that ‘mix’ – like I call it – why, what’s the point?
“I get it. I get that it’s hard to walk away from walking into the arena with big crowds, etc. But, there’s a point in time when it’s like, ‘You’ve done your thing man. You’ve had an amazing career. You’ve done great things. There’s nothing left to prove.”
That may come as a surprise to some given that Griffin is still just 33 years-old and is coming off a win over Tito Ortiz last month, but White points to the quality of his performance rather than the result, noting to reporters backstage after the fight that, “both Tito and Forrest looked old tonight.”
I think he may have a point. I don’t think it’s absolutely essential for Griffin to call it a day just yet, but he’s certainly getting close to it. He doesn’t seem to have the same desire for fighting he once had, he certainly doesn’t take a punch as well as he used to and while I hate to say it, I sometimes wonder when I’m watching him being interviewed whether he’s starting to maybe get a little punch-drunk.
Griffin became famous for his tough, durable style and the fact that he only seemed to switch on after being hit hard in the head a few times, but unfortunately that’s the kind of traits that can lead to long-term side effects and he would be wise to at least remain open-minded to what White has to say – although according to the UFC president it’s not a topic of conversation that’s been met with open arms by the former champion so far.
“He doesn’t like hearing it. He doesn’t want to hear me,” White says.
Incidentally, Griffin isn’t the only fighter that’s currently on White’s radar in this regard. Yesterday he also said that he wants another former champion Matt Hughes to call it a day, while he’s also said similar things about other stars like Wanderlei Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the past, though so far he’s not gone to the same lengths to get them to see things his way as he did with Liddell a few years ago.