Ahead of his UFC 148 trilogy bout against Tito Ortiz, Griffin talked to ESPN about where he sees his career at this point and that due to the current crop of talent in the light heavyweight division, he doesn’t picture himself make another run towards the top of the division.
Here’s what he had to say:
“I don’t foresee the huge comeback. I worked out with that (Alexander) Gustafsson kid. Young guys, man. I’m old now. I like what Rich Franklin has done, there’s still a lot of guys I can beat — but I don’t know how many of those guys are in the Top 10. I’m still, I’d say, one of the Top 25 guys in the world at 205 pounds; problem is I keep fighting the top 5-to-10 guys in the world.”
At 32 years of age and almost 11-years of professional experience under his belt, Griffin is being a realist. He is still one of the top 205-pounds fighters in the world, however, he is privy to the fact the sport is evolving and that he may not be able to hang with the cream of the crop for much longer.
His comments make sense. There aren’t many, if any, fighters in the top-10 Griffin would be favored against. However, there is still a number of “money” fights out there he has a good chance of winning and would draw eyeballs. His upcoming fight against Ortiz is a good example. Name opponent, winnable, but does nothing in terms of moving him up the rankings towards a world championship.
With so much talk surrounding Ortiz’s retirement leading into UFC 148, is it possible that the July 7 event could be one of the final times the original “Ultimate Fighter” steps into the Octagon? Only time will tell.