I want to warn everyone before going any further, if you have not yet seen the Oritz vs Griffin fight and want to be surprised when you do see it, read no further!
I think Forrest Griffin has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with in last nights loss to Tito Ortiz. Griffin frustrated Tito on at least four takedown attempts, causing the Ortiz to look forlorn at times. You could almost read his mind: "Why can't I take this guy down at will?"
Tito came out as I predicted, with a vengence and all but owned Griffin in the first round. Taking him down and throwing elbow after elbow that caused some damage, and generally doing what he is noted for.
However, Griffin roaring back in the second round proved that he's no quitter. Moving around in an odd way, but relentlessly throwing punch after punch.
Many thought that Griffin won the fight. But in all honesty, while it was a close fight, I have to agree with the judges. Tito beat him fair and square.
I watched it live last night and then reviewed the tape this morning and, while I am not a Tito Ortiz fan he did win the fight. I base this on his total domination of the first round, his two takedowns, and the punches (and elbows) that he landed causing far more damage than anything Griffin threw.
As I stated, Tito took him down twice and while Forrest threw many punches only three or so actually landed solidly. The others were very skillfully dodged or deflected by Tito. Tito threw less punches but more seemed to land, and in fact a couple rocked Griffin somewhat.
One more comment, I thought Tito ran into just a bit of a conditioning problem (nothing major)by the third round. While Forrest looked even more fresh in the third round than he did in the first.
What is it that makes Griffin a good fighter?
And heart is sometimes all it takes to go the distance (hey you've seen the Rocky films :).
The game has come a long way since the early ground and pound days. If Tito is going to vie for the light heavy weight crown he needs to become an even better striker and also improve his submissions. Otherwise, I don't see him coming close to beating Lidell.
But if he proved nothing else last night (and he may not have) it was that he is not going away and will be at least a contender for the next several years.
Anyone else have any thoughts?