Forrest Griffin. The fighter every fan has grown to love had a bump in the road Saturday as he was knocked silly by Anderson Silva at UFC 101. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. The membership numbers for the “I got knocked Stupid by Anderson Silva” is growing by the month and fees are minimal – one right hand to the mouth. But Griffin is at a crossroads. He has gone from TUF 1 champion to UFC champion and is now the proud owner of back to back knock out losses. The UFC needs to be cautious who they throw him in with next. He is one of their most recognizable faces inside and outside of the cage and helped the sport in so many ways. Here is who should be next in line to face Griffin and why it would work.
1. The Loser of Thiago Silva and Keith Jardine
Why it works: He has already fought and lost to Jardine and the “Dean of Mean” is often inconsistent. The UFC could bill this one as a pivotal rematch while they both work their way up the ladder. Silva would be less interesting since he doesn’t posses the same skill set of Griffin’s last 4 opponents, but has name value which would give Griffin a significant win.
2. The winner of Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Brandon Vera
Why it works: Both Soszynski and Vera are ‘known’ in the UFC by the largest demographic – the casual fan. Vera is trying to climb back into title contention, while Soszynski has won 3 in row and a win over Vera would warrant a shot at the former champ. A quick glance at the rankings we see that these two are both below Jardine and Silva which gives Griffin a better shot at a comeback win.
3. Luis Cane
Why it works: I’m not convinced it does. Cane has no scheduled opponent on the horizon, but his methodical style likely matches up well against the aggressive Griffin. And Cane has little to no name value at this point, and as good as he is, that’s likely why no one wants to fight him.
4. Houston Alexander
Why it works: It should be a sure win for Forrest. Right? Well, maybe not. Houston has struggled as of late losing 3 in a row. But Alexander is a face that most casual UFC fans recognize and does have knock out power (and His Own Action Figure if you can believe it) You never know what would happen, but this would be an easy sell and an easy win for Griffin.
Whatever the UFC decides to do with their TUF 1 winner, they most plan carefully. He doesn’t need another loss and the UFC certainly doesn’t need one of their marquee names knocked out again.
Whatever they decide there are plenty of good fights for left for Griffin at 205 lbs. And we all know we will see him back fighting his heart out.
That’s why we love him. See you soon Forrest.