Five potential replacement opponents for Forrest Griffin
Former UFC Light Heavyweight champion and “The Ultimate Fighter” winner Forrest Griffin was rumored to face former middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen in a rematch at UFC 155. However UFC President Dana White announced that Sonnen will now face current champion Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title after their coaching stint on season 17 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Although he only learned about the fight moments before his appearance on UFC Tonight, Griffin said he was not mad at Sonnen.
"Why fight your way to the top when you can talk your way to the top?"
Griffin also said that he was happy he was not facing Sonnen anymore because Sonnen’s fights are “boring and tedious.”
While Sonnen has been given another shot at UFC gold, Griffin is currently without an opponent for UFC 155, which takes place Dec. 29 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
While he had been dropping hints of returning in the last couple of years, Griffin has sense changed his stance on the matter. In an interview with Ariel Helwani on the “MMA Hour,” the former light heavyweight champion said while he knows he is not the best, there are still plenty of people he believes he can beat.
The fight with Sonnen may be scrapped, yet there are still plenty of fighters who could step up and face Griffin in December.
In the last month, Stephan “The American Psycho” Bonnar went from being retired to fighting UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 153 on short notice. Although Bonnar lost to Silva via TKO in the first round, there are rumors that he could be facing Forrest Griffin at UFC 155.
Bonnar and Griffin first fought in “The Ultimate Fighter 1” finale where the two put on what is regarded as the most significant fight in UFC history. Griffin would win the fight. The two faced off again at UFC 62 where Griffin once again emerged victorious and Bonnar had tested for boldenone.
Bonnar was rallying for him and Griffin to face off in a third fight prior to his retirement.
A third clash between Bonnar and Griffin would be a treat for the fans however, two months may not be enough for the American Psycho to heal from his lost against Silva and properly train for a fight against Griffin.
One fighter who has never crossed paths with Forrest Griffin is former UFC champion Lyoto "The Dragon Machida. After his match with Maurico "Shogun" Rua, it was speculated that Griffin would face Machida until UFC President Dana White announced that Griffin would face Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for the light heavyweight title.
In 2008 Griffin said he wanted nothing to do with Machida, yet a fight between these two has the possibility of a Fight of the Night performance.
After turning down a rematch against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Machida is rumored to face Dan Henderson in the near future. However the UFC could very well ask him to step in and face Griffin on short notice.
MMA legend Dan Henderson was originally supposed to face Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight title at UFC 151 until an injury pulled him out of the fight, which caused the event to be canceled, and Jones to be moved to UFC 152 where he defended his title against Vitor Belfort.
Since it was announced that Jones will be defending his title against Chael Sonnen, Henderson could be the man to step up and face Forrest Griffin.
Both fighters have a combined 63 fights on their records and have faced some of the best fighters in the world. However Griffin has accomplished something that Henderson has yet to do in his career: win a UFC world championship.
A victory over Griffin could help Henderson earn his way back into the title picture.
Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin have had similar paths in the UFC. Both men are winners of “The Ultimate Fighter” and former Light Heavyweight champions. It was Griffin who Evans defeated to win the title back in 2008.
If Evans and Griffin were to face off again at UFC 155, it would be four years and two days after their first encounter.
For Evans, beating Griffin would help him rebound from the lost he suffered at the hands of Jon Jones at UFC 145. For Griffin, it would be a chance to avenge a loss to the man who took away his championship.
UFC Middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Forrest Griffin are no strangers to one another.
Silva and Griffin had previously fought at UFC 101 where the Spider knocked out Griffin three-minutes into the first round. The loss caused Griffin to flee from the cage.
Although Silva is coming off a first-round TKO victory over Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153, he could once again step up to face Griffin in December.
Who would you like to step in and fight Griffin? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA
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