Forrest Griffin retires

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Forrest Griffin had his very first professional fight in 2001, losing to UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn. Griffin would lose just three times in his next 21 fights, winning the UFC lightheavyweight championship. However, his true legacy lies in his win over Stephan Bonnar during The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale on April 9, 2005.

The UFC was then a failed experiment, losing tens of millions of dollars; owner Lorenzo Fertitta asked president Dana White to see if there was anyone who wanted to buy it. The pair ultimately decided to double down, financing a show on free television, in a last-ditch effort to build interest in the new sport.

The Ultimate Fighter 1 pulled in decent ratings, but it was not until the finale between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar the things exploded. The fight was so extraordinary that people started to call ther friends telling them to turn on the TV. Millions poured in, and by the end of the show, the future of the world’s fastest growing sport was assured.

Griffin’s final fight was a win, over Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz in 2012. The bout was Tito’s final one as well.

Now, at the UFC 160 post-fight press conference, Forrest Griffin has announced his retirement. Bonnar announced his retirement in 2012. The bond between the pair is such that Bonnar named his first-born son Griffin.

“It’s been a good eight years, I guess,” said Griffin. “Biggest thing I’ve learned… when Dana White says retire otherwise you will blow your knee out.”

White said Griffin will continue to play a role in the UFC, although it was not defined.

You can catch Griffin’s retirement speech here: