Forrest Griffin Shows Maturity Against Franklin, Primed For Another Title Run

By Donald Lappe

UFC 126 provided us with a highlight reel knockout by Anderson Silva and a submission win by Jon Jones that earned him a title shot against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, but one of the biggest developments from the card has been somewhat overlooked—the maturation of Forrest Griffin as a fighter.

Griffin, of “The Ultimate Fighter” fame, has endeared himself to fans with his brawling style and immense heart that fueled a title run. After losing his title to Rashad Evans, Griffin lost to the aforementioned Silva by first-round knockout. Three months later he avenged his previous loss to Tito Ortiz, but was forced to pull out of a scheduled fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira due to a shoulder injury in 2010.

The injury contributed to over a year of inactivity, and many observers began to view Griffin much differently than his resume suggested. A win over Tito Ortiz and a loss to Anderson Silva removed from a title fight, he became considered a gatekeeper instead of a real contender for the Light Heavyweight title.


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