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Forrest Says...

There are a lot of titles to describe 205-pound contender Forrest Griffin, but no matter what you call him, the fact remains that the Las Vegan is one of the UFC’s most intriguing and quotable figures.
The Ultimate Fighter season one winner. Former UFC light heavyweight champion. Best-selling author. There are a lot of titles to describe 205-pound contender Forrest Griffin, but no matter what you call him, the fact remains that the Las Vegan is one of the UFC’s most intriguing and quotable figures. As his UFC 126 bout with Rich Franklin on February 5th approaches, we’re digging into the archives for some of Griffin’s most memorable quotes.

DAYS AFTER HIS WIN OVER STEPHAN BONNAR IN 2005

“I don’t have insurance and I couldn’t get a hold of anybody and I was supposed to take them (the stitches) out a couple of days ago and the skin was starting to grow around them so I had to cut them out with the Xacto knife.”

ON LIFE AFTER THE BONNAR FIGHT
“This is my fifteen minutes. I’m going to live it up.”

ON HIS FIRST PRO BOUT IN 2001 AGAINST UFC HALL OF FAMER DAN SEVERN
“I was a hometown kid and they wanted to use the angle of the local kid fighting Dan Severn. The guy said he’d give me 250 bucks, and I said what the hell, I’d do it for free. At that time it was before I used to really give a s**t about it. I had a good job as a police officer, and it was a hobby – it was fun. It was a win-win situation. No matter what happened, it was Dan Severn. Who cares if you lost to him? So have some of the best in the world.”

ON HIS 2001 FIGHT AGAINST WIEHAN LESH, WHICH HE WON AFTER HE DISLOCATED HIS SHOULDER
“My shoulder was out of the socket and immediately after I tapped the guy out I started rolling around in pain. I’m rolling around with this grimace on my face and people are like, ‘what happened?’ Well, look at my shoulder.”

A SOUTH AFRICAN COMMENTATOR’S VIEW OF THE POST-FIGHT
“The American with an interesting celebration.”

ON HIS COMPETITIVE NATURE
“I get pissed if I lose in monopoly. In the (Ultimate Fighter) house everybody was playing chess. Well, I love to play chess but there were a couple of guys who were better than me so I never played.”

ON MAKING IT TO THE UFC
“I didn’t get here through all that hard work and winning fights nonsense; I got here through a TV game show, and I’m comfortable with that.”

ON LIFE IN THE SPOTLIGHT
“It’s exactly what I expected it to be, and I’m being totally serious. There are some negatives, but the positives outweigh them by far. Trust me, I ain’t sitting here saying ‘man, I wish I was a cop getting up at 4 in the morning and having to write reports until late at night.’ You won’t hear me say that.”

ON BEING ALONE IN THE OCTAGON BEFORE THE FIRST ORTIZ FIGHT
“I just kinda froze at a very inopportune time. I didn’t think it would happen, I never got nervous leading up to the fight, and then all of a sudden, once I was in there, he had a long entrance and I just sat there mulling it over and it kinda caught me a little bit.”

BETWEEN ROUNDS ONE AND TWO OF THE FIRST ORTIZ FIGHT
“I knew I was better than what I was showing and I knew I was falling apart in front of a lot of people – my family and friends – and I was letting my team down. I was disgusted with myself for it. It’s like when a bully pushes you at school and you don’t do anything about it – you let it sink in and you just get angry and then do something about it hopefully. If you’ve watched any fight I’ve ever been in, you fight. I just couldn’t live with myself if I quit.”

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
“A loss is a loss and you never want that to happen again, but the important thing in this sport for me, mentally, is never to quit on myself. You get sloppy, you do stupid things in a fight, and the techniques you’ve been working on for months fall by the wayside, but you never mentally break.”

ON RESPECT

“I’m not really sure why I wanted that. I should have wanted a victory. The next time I don’t really care for the respect – though I’m sure that’d be nice – I’d much rather win the fight.”

ECONOMICS 101
“It’s just a matter of scarcity of resources. You learn in economics about competition over limited resources. I’m pretty self-centered and I want what’s best for me. I need to win this fight, just like he does, and I understand that he’s going to do everything in his power to win it, and I certainly don’t resent that or hold it against him at all. I’m gonna do the same thing.”

ON BEING THE SUPPOSED SACRIFICIAL LAMB FOR THE UFC DEBUT OF MAURICIO ‘SHOGUN’ RUA
“I don’t care. I didn’t even think about it, to be honest.”

ON THE QUALITY OF THE SPARRING SESSIONS WITH OLD RIVAL STEPHAN BONNAR
“I don’t know. I’m too busy punching and getting punched to pay attention.”

ON THE DEPTH OF THE UFC LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION
“There’s no shortage of work. It’s a good thing for me. I’d love to fight any and all of those guys.”

ON FIGHTING
“This is my job, this is the biggest thing I’ve got going on in my life. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things – nobody’s gonna kill me and it’s not like I’m going into combat for the country or anything, but it’s the biggest thing going on in my little life.

ON FEAR
"If it wasn’t for fear, I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning."

ON LOSING TO KEITH JARDINE
“It made me question myself and what kind of fighter I’m gonna be. I thought my chin was a little better than that. It kinda makes you wonder.”

SELF-DOUBT
“I’ve never been dazed by a punch before. I’ve been knocked out cold quite a few times, but I’ve never been dazed and hurt in a fight where I was on Queer Street, which I was against Keith and just couldn’t get composed. It’s just a scary feeling, knowing that I could feel like that again, that maybe I’m not who I thought I was. I always thought I had a solid, solid chin, and there’s a lot of doubts in my mind, questions about the way I’m gonna fight.”

MARKETING
“You guys seem to think that we’re actually having fun. I try not to do an insanely bad job of marketing myself, but you don’t realize how close I’ve come to just not getting on a plane to go somewhere and do something like that (media obligations, etc).”

POPULARITY
“I’m gonna be me. I don’t care. I think there’s a lot of people that don’t like me and there might come a point where people don’t like me, but I don’t care, I’ll just be myself. If people do like me, that’s cool.”

ON LIFE AS A PRO FIGHTER
“I’m trying to make this fun. Everybody who fights, at one point or another, fought for free or next to it. And money makes everything about money – it’s funny how that works. There’s a lot more pressure on me to win and I can’t say I don’t feel it – I do.”

ON THE APPEAL OF FIGHTING
“It’s one of those things where when you’re training and fighting, you can’t worry about your bills, your mortgage, did you get your girlfriend pregnant, your pet’s cancer, or anything. Nothing else matters but that dude trying to kick you in the face or throw you on your head or trying to rip your arm out of the socket. It becomes a singularity of purpose, which an ADD kid like me rarely gets. I like that moment of clarity in fights, and I truly have that. I lose myself in the details of those 15 minutes and you don’t worry about what people think of you.”

PRE-JACKSON FIGHT

“Things are great, but I feel the pressure of it all though. I feel like all the things I want are within my grasp, so I feel a lot of pressure to attain them.”

ON LIFE AS A CHAMPION

“It’s not for everybody. To me, it felt like I was wearing a bull’s eye around, and I’m not a super confident, egocentric person, so I didn’t really like people thinking I was the best guy. I knew I wasn’t the best guy.”

ON MOTIVATION

“It's not at all hard to get motivated for a fight when you think about everything that's at stake. Whether it's financially, or what I want as far as how I want to be remembered in the sport. There are so many things, and good things happen when you win a fight. Bad things happen when you lose.”

ON HAVING HIS OWN ACTION FIGURE
“I remember when I was a kid, I would actually burn and rip my GI-Joes up. When they lost battles I would melt them and put my mom’s makeup on them for blood – I got in a lot of trouble for this by the way – and smash them if they had a car accident or something, and I can’t wait to see a Forrest Griffin doll beat up with some kid putting his mom’s red lip gloss over my face and breaking off one of my arms.”

ON THE MAINSTREAM ACCEPTANCE OF MMA
“I realized things were changing when my mom’s friends – who are in their late 40’s and early 50’s – started calling me and asking me about the fights. I’ve got middle-aged women calling me and asking me about Matt Hughes, and I’m like ‘really, is this happening? These people are actually watching these fights.’”

ON BEING A BEST-SELLING AUTHOR
“You can hope, but you never know. We all like to be listened to in conversation, so for people to actually spend money to find out your thoughts on stuff is a very flattering concept. I thought that it might just get lost in the shuffle of there being so many fighters’ books. Now, it having the success it has, I’m almost thinking, man, if I had really tried, I could have really written a good book.”

THE SECRET TO REMAINING A “REGULAR” GUY

“You just keep doing what you’ve always been doing. I will tell you something crazy though; it’s amazing how quickly what one day was an amazing thing you couldn’t believe just becomes ordinary. Like doing interviews, people wanting to watch you work out, or anything like that, the extraordinary becomes ordinary pretty quick.”

ON FEAR – PART II
“That fear for me is always there. It’s a scary feeling. You’re alone in a cage and everybody’s watching and the fear really comes from knowing that I owe this to myself. I’ve done this much work and this is the thing I want. It’s that fear that the thing you want most in your life is within your grasp and it’s up to you to take it. That’s a lot of pressure, but I’ve been around a couple more times. I’ve had it happen a bunch now so I’ve become more accustomed to the fear. It’s like skydiving. It’s never gonna be mundane.”

LIFE IN THE MMA FISHBOWL

“I can’t say I’ve dealt with it well. I’ve been rude to a lot of people and I’m a little bit ashamed of my behavior in some instances. You take any average guy and put him in extraordinary circumstances and put a great amount of pressure on him. Randy (Couture) has kinda got an open door policy (at the Xtreme Couture gym). You can just come in, and people are just standing there watching you like you’re the show. I’ve seen people videotape me and then put it up on the internet, and it’s kinda almost like I have a distrust of people. But in life, I’ve been trying to turn a corner and be nicer to people in general.”

ON LIFE AS FORREST GRIFFIN (PRE ORTIZ II)
“The thing is, I can’t come up with anything I’d enjoy doing more than training. I can’t think of a job, whether it’s training police officers and SWAT guys or something fun like that that I’d actually rather do more than to kick some pads and wrestle around. You get beat up and get dinged, and there are ups and downs, but there’s still nothing I’d rather do more. The fight is the fight. It’s weird. Where I’m at right now, I’ve got to remember how good winning feels. I know how bad it feels to lose. It’s the worst thing in the world, and you can’t associate fighting and training with that feeling. You’ve seen me lose a bunch of fights and I don’t deal with it well. I’m not a fan of it, and it breaks you down - it breaks me down anyway. So you’ve got to remember how good it feels to win.”
 

 

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