Fan-favorite UFC light heavyweight Forrest Griffin has decided he’s at the point in his career where he’s earned the right to have a significant amount of influence when it comes to selecting the opponents he faces inside the Octagon. Griffin, who turns 33 next week, is set to take on Tito Ortiz at UFC 148 who hand-picked the Ultimate Fighter winner as his final foe before retiring.
Though Griffin stopped short of saying he’d be issuing demands, his desire to duke it out with select individuals rather than hot new prospects was clear as day.
“I like what Matt Hughes is doing. He picks the fights that he thinks he can win and does it on his own terms,” said Griffin in an interview with Fightline. “I want to fight on my own terms. I’m on the other side of the fence now and don’t see myself fighting these younger guys like Alexander Gustafsson.”
When it comes to retirement, Griffin also has his mind on a particular path, revealing, “I want to help convince others to lend their time and money to charity. I’ve done some work with the Make a Wish Foundation and I really enjoy working with little kids. I can totally see myself working in that type of capacity, working with the UFC and making a difference in other peoples’ lives.”
Griffin-Ortiz meet on July 7 in the night’s co-headlining clash. The two former champions have fought twice before with each earning a Split Decision win.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: I read Griffin’s comments as saying he only has 3-4 fights left in him, not a true title-run. He’s openly discussed his diminishing passion for fighting and has to be doing pretty well financially, so why keep on trucking when you can earn a few big paydays and not get your head taken off in the process (a la Hughes or Ortiz).