Forrest Griffin might find his rebound performance in a rematch with Tito Ortiz, who he faces this Saturday at UFC 106 in Las Vegas.
Their first bout at UFC 59 in April 2006 garnered controversy, as Ortiz wrestled aggressively in the first round, only to wane in the second and third sets before taking away a close split decision.
The “Ultimate Fighter” season one winner shares his take on the bout and much more for Heyman Hustle’s UFC 106 coverage, which is brought to you by AutoZone.
On Sending Out Wedding Invites: “The thing you find with weddings is it’s kind of like a landslide. Once you invite one person from one clique, you really have to invite the whole clique. So it’s hard. We tried to have a wedding with about 30 people (in Savannah, Ga.). It ended up being about 50 when it was all said and done. (We invited) a bunch of guys from Hardcore (Gym) and what not. It’s in their neck of the woods. I invited a lot of my friends from Vegas in hopes they wouldn’t make the trek all the way back East.”
On His Honeymoon Cut Short: “We did the honeymoon. We were actually up in King’s Canyon and as we were coming down the mountain — we can’t get any signal up there — my phone starts dinging like a machine gun and it’s Dana texting, ‘Call me. Call me. Call me. Call me.’ Did I do something wrong? And it was just the Tito fight and I was like, ‘Oh that’s all? Nevermind.’”
The Difference between Forrest Ten and Forrest Now: “I don’t know. I liked that fight. I wasn’t very technical in the striking department. I was just kind of winging punches. He definitely saw everything I threw coming. He did a great job of blocking the jab. He used his jab real well to stop anything. When I would try and throw three or four punches he would throw his jab to try and throw me out of the rhythm. I have to move more, even though I moved decently the first fight. Some feints, some fakes, mix it up more with some kicks and stuff like that. I was basically trying to throw a 3-2 or a 2-3. You’ve got to throw one of those punches, damn it.
On Ortiz’ Past Performances: “You look at the Machida fight and it’s not really like Tito fights poorly in that fight. Tito had a strategy. I think he was winning and then with 20 seconds left in the first round — I had him winning the round — (and) he tried to explode a little to make that impression to make sure he was winning the round and he shot a little off balance for a takedown. He forced it, which is a little unusual for him, and then he got thrown, got put in a bit of a Matt Hughes position there, elbowed a little bit and now he’s gone from winning the round to clearly losing the round in 20 seconds. From that point on, he had to chase Machida, which never works out. I think he fought real well against a guy that beat me: Rashad (Evans). They fought to a draw. Great fight. Neither one of them landed that much standing up, but its ‘cause they were both throwing with such intent, I thought. I have to watch that fight again.
On Getting the Crowd Behind Him: “Yeah, people can be fickle. If I go out there and fight hard, fight well and people see that I’m making the effort then they’ll probably get behind (me). But if you go out there and fight a little tentative and lackadaisical people aren’t going to help too much there.”
On Waiting to Talk About the Silva fight: “If I don’t want to talk about it I’m not going to talk about it. This is actually my life philosophy. I gauge my level of success not by how much money I have or how much this or that but who I actually have to take s— from. And there’s not a lot of people in my life that I really have to take s— from. Obviously, if the UFC tells me to do something I’m going to do it. If BSN tells me to do something I’m going to do it. Those guys pay my bills. What are you going to do, right? But for the most part, if I don’t want to do something I pretty much don’t do it. That’s the whole point of money, right? For me, money is about freedom. I love the freedom to tell people what you think.”
On Being in the Public Eye: “I don’t have the luxury of having the insulation from the media or from the fans. Everything is kind of right in my face. Don’t get me wrong, I like taking that money to go show up and shake hands somewhere but part of taking that money to go show up and shake hands at a convention or whatever is people come up to you and say, ‘What’s up with that fight,’ like you owe them something or I’m going to give him his 40 bucks back if my fight sucks. I can’t help it.”
On Changing His Mental Preparation Following the Silva Bout: “I never thought about it one iota. My mental preparation is, I don’t really like to lose. I don’t like to be bullied or pushed. I don’t have much of a killer instinct, but I don’t like to be pushed around.”