Forrest Griffin: ‘I walked to God’
Former UFC light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin has become a member of the Las Vegas-based Central Christian Church, as detailed in this profile by Doug McMurdo of Nevada’s Kingman Daily Miner.
Forrest Griffin never asked God for help before or during a fight.
Outside the cage, the former and now retired UFC lightweight champ did ask God to make him a better person and he prays to God when loved ones fall ill or when life offers up one of its many crises.
Steve Petrauschke, the lead pastor at Central Christian’s Kingman campus, asked Griffin how he reconciled his faith in a loving God with his former profession, which required him to pummel an opponent – or get pummeled – in the violent sport of mixed martial arts.
“Fighting for me was fun,” Griffin told an overflow crowd Sunday morning at Lee Williams High School, where the Kingman campus of Central Christian Church worships.
“Fighting didn’t test my faith. It tested my mettle,” said Griffin, pointing out that U.S. troops go to church.
The husband of Kingman native Jaime and father to two-year-old Ella, Griffin said he joined Central Christian Church at a point in his life when things were going well.
“I had the job I wanted, the woman I wanted, the home I wanted. Things were good and I wanted to walk to God. Eventually, we all go to God on our knees, but I walked to God, reached out and something took hold.”
Griffin said his goal was always to win a fight. “In the beginning, a punch to the jaw was a wakeup call. At the end, it was a go to sleep call.”
He’s got cauliflower ears from fighting, his knees are shot and his memory isn’t as sharp as it once was, said Griffin, but his faith is strong.
Parenthood has helped.
“You have to reprioritize your life when you have a kid,” said Griffin. “It’s not about you anymore, and honestly, I really like it when it’s about me.”
“You can’t step away from parenting.”
“I saw so many things in the world that are wrong. The Christian mission is to help others. I fail more than I succeed, but I know what God expects of me. Doing the right thing is usually the harder of two choices.”