Forrest Griffin interviews Tito Ortiz after their fight at UFC 148 on Sat., July 7, 3023, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Esther Lin via MMAFighting.com.
Forrest Griffin is an emotional guy. He'll tell you that himself, and he has many times throughout his career.
He's also shown it, mostly at the worst possible times. After suffering a loss to Keith Jardine at UFC 66 in Dec. 2006, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 1 winner broke out in tears, sobbing against the cage. Following his defeat at the hands of Anderson Silva at UFC 101 in Aug. 2009, Forrest was so embarrassed he ran right out of the cage following the stoppage and didn't return.
After three rounds of back-and-forth action that saw Griffin have his moments but Ortiz win the high spots, the final horn sounded. "The People's Champ," though exhausted, felt he left it all on the line and was mostly pleased with his performance.
Griffin, however, did not. So he ran out of the cage. Again.
After UFC President Dana White chased him down and told him to "get the fuck back in the cage," Forrest came back for the reading of the decision, which he didn't realize went in his favor. But that's not even the worst part.
Just when UFC color commentator Joe Rogan was going to interview Ortiz after he had just lost a close fight, the final bout of his 15 year mixed martial arts (MMA) career, Griffin grabbed the microphone and conducted the interview himself.
It was classless, it was silly, and it pissed a lot of people off, White and Ortiz chief among them.
Ortiz at the post-fight press conference:
"I was pissed. I've been in this sport a lot longer. You have to understand, 15 years ago, May 3, 1997, Joe Rogan was the first person to interview me, and I told him, I'm going to make a mark in this sport. It was my first fight. I said, just you wait. I'm going to make my mark in this sport. I helped build this sport to be what it is to this day. For Forrest to step in and do what he did, after running? I can't complain about anything, as I said, I wish Joe Rogan got to interview me."
"He drives me crazy, this guy. It's professional suicide, the things that he does. People love Forrest Griffin, okay? So I ran after him. I don't have to tell you guys, everyone in this room knows exactly what I said. So he turned around, and he ran back into the ring. ... "It's Tito's last fight. If Tito won his fight, stand there, get your hand raised or Tito's hand raised. If your plugging for Joe Rogan's fucking job, it isn't going to happen. Leave the microphone alone until Joe comes over and talks to you. I love Forrest Griffin, always have. He's a great guy but he gets a little kooky sometimes."
For his part, Griffin did the right thing by completely owning up to his actions and profusely apologizing before explaining where he was coming from:
""I sincerely apologize. I don't know what I was thinking. I sincerely apologize, I'm sorry. ... I wasn't too pleased with my performance. I put big emphasis on finishing, felt like I had an opportunity to finish it in a very close fight. I left it in judges' hands. When I got up from that takedown in the third, I thought I had opportunity to make it at least a more lopsided fight and I couldn't capitalize on that and I was frustrated."
He would later say on Twitter that he got "emotional and weird" before again apologizing to Ortiz for "fucking up his interview."
It's a shame, really, that Ortiz had to go out this way but what's over is over and there's no going back now.
How did you Maniacs feel about Griffin's post-fight antics?