Double-Elimination? What Happens If Forrest Loses to Tito?
STUDIO MMA, VENICE, CA – Tito Ortiz has made it quite clear that the rubber match in his trilogy with Forrest Griffin will be his last stand in the Octagon. But, could it be the end of the road for Griffin as well? The two former UFC light heavyweight champions face off at UFC 148 on July 7 in Las Vegas. Ortiz [16-10-1 MMA], who will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame this year, and Griffin [18-7-0 MMA] each own a split-decision victory in their two fights. And, with The Huntington Beach Bad Boy on his way out and Griffin apparently on the back nine of his career, each man will be looking to dot an exclamation point at the end of their storied rivalry.
In a recent video posted by the UFC, Griffin does not explicitly declare that he will retire from MMA if he loses to Tito. However, he does say, tongue-in-cheek, that if he comes up short that he “will retire from life.” A loss would put Forrest in the division’s no man’s land. Since his somewhat embarrassing August 2009 KO flop against Anderson Silva, Griffin has not been in the title contention picture. Although he bounced back with wins against both Tito and Rich Franklin, the TUF 1 champion was quickly dispatched via a Shogun Rua KO at UFC 134 in August 2011. A loss, likely, would leave Griffin tying up the loose ends of his career with a handful of inconsequential fights with veterans in the division — Stephan Bonnar, Rampage Jackson, Vladimir Matyushenko, and the Nogueira brothers to name a few.
But, if Forrest wins, and does so in impressive fashion, there could be some interesting match-ups in his near future. Dana White seems to have put Glover Teixeira on the fast track to the title, but a Griffin win might earn a date with the ferocious Brazilian. Many are expecting a handy victory for Lyoto Machida against Ryan Bader, but, if that does not pan out, a Machida-Griffin fight would be a fan pleaser. And, what about a scramble with Phil Davis or a rematch with Rashad Evans, who TKO’d Griffin in their last meeting?
What’s Griffin’s next move if he wins? And what if he loses? Let us know in the comment section.