In recent years we’ve seen several major UFC stars like Tito Ortiz and Anderson Silva deliberate over the possibility of retirement, and some like Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture have even made the decision to hang up their gloves for good.
At just 32 years of age you’d be forgiven for thinking that former UFC light-heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin may be a little too young to be considering joining that club, but in a new interview he reveals that he believes is now heading into the twilight of his career.
“For me, now I’m realizing that I don’t have much left,” Griffin candidly told radio show ‘The MMA Fight Corner’. “This is the end of the road me. I want a couple more big fights. Good ones. Fights where I don’t get knocked out in the first round [laughs]. Fights where I like get hurt, bleed a little, but I kind of like rally. Something of that nature.”
If you look closely at his situation it’s perhaps not so surprising that the original Ultimate Fighter is contemplating the final chapter of his career.
For one thing he’s lost three of his last five fights, and all have come by way of KO. Even more troubling for a man who’s reputation was originally built on his durability and willingness to take a punch, two of them have come surprisingly quickly, within the first few minutes of the fight.
It’s a fact that’s not escaped Griffin.
“It’s the getting hit hard that I don’t seem to like anymore. I don’t mind it but my nervous system seems to be really in disagreement with it these days,” he noted.
While physiological circumstances beyond his control have had a part to play, it’s also become apparent that Griffin’s passion for the sport has also diminished in the last three years since losing the title, while injuries have also taken there toll resulting in him fighting just twice in the past two years.
The reality is that Griffin is one of the lucky few MMA fighters who don’t need to fight any more. He’s one of the most recognised fighters in the UFC, he rakes in $275,000 (including win bonus) per fight as a basic salary, has an army of sponsors, and enjoys a successful side-gig writing books such as the New York Times Bestseller, ‘Got Fight?”
So if the end is near for Griffin, are there any big fights left for him? Tito Ortiz stated following UFC 142 that he wants his last fight before retirement to be a third fight with Griffin, settling an old score as they currently stand at 1-1 with both being close fights.
Griffin is open to the possibility, but questions whether it’s the right fight to make at this stage.
“If people will pay to see that fight then I’ll get paid to fight that fight…but do people want to see it?”
Another former nemesis Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has also been calling for a rematch with Griffin, who took the title from him back in 2008, and that’s a fight that may generate more interest from a fans perspective.