Forrest Griffin on MMA retirement: ‘I physically can’t make a comeback, I was fighting with one arm the last three years’

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The chances of Forrest Griffin ever making an MMA comeback are slim to none as the former UFC light heavyweight champion says he isn't psychically able to do it, admitting that the wear-and-tear of his fighting career has left him with lingering issues.

Forrest Griffin retired from the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) earlier this year, leaving on a high note by defeating Tito Ortiz at UFC 148 on July 7, 2012.

The 26-fight veteran undoubtedly left his mark in the sport and cemented his legacy in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history which includes winning the light heavyweight title in 2008 and getting inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame this past summer.

However, he's perhaps better known for becoming the first-ever Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner back in 2005 by defeating Stephan Bonnar in an epic three round fight at TUF 1 Finale which helped usher the sport and UFC into a new era.

But due to the wear-and-tear his 34 year-old body has endured over time, thanks to his grueling battles with Quinton Jackson, Anderson Silva, Mauricio Rua and the aforementioned Ortiz, Griffin now finds himself on the outside of the Octagon looking in.

And it's the toll that his body feels to this day that will always prevent the charismatic fighter from ever returning to action, even if he wanted to, as he recently explained during an appearance on "The MMA Hour:"

"I physically can't (come back). I didn't want to be done, in the beginning. When I announced my retirement, that was actually when I was trying to come back and I realized, it just wasn't viable. It passed me by. My shoulder is done. I brush my teeth with my left hand now. That's just the way it goes. I can't shoot a basketball, I can't throw any kind of ball. I was right handed. The last three years, I was kinda fighting with one arm, on and off. My training camp was, I don't want to call it Frank Mir style, but it was Frank Mir style. It's like, I'm going to work on whatever hurts the least today. What are we doing today? Well, what's not broken today? That's what we're going to do today."

Since hanging up his gloves, Forrest continues to work for UFC, serving as an advocate and mouthpiece for the company's numerous ventures which currently has him at the helm of "Protect Yourself At All Times," the UFC's campaign in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, which aims to spread HIV education and awareness for people under the age of 30.

However, not every fighter on the roster will be lucky enough to find their way to a front office job with UFC, which is why Forrest advises MMA athletes to make sure they have a post-fighting back-up plan.

He explains:

"I think if you've fought more than three fights in the UFC and you're not financially ahead, you're either doing something wrong or you just need to quit. Your first two fights, your first two camps, yeah, you're going to maybe even go into debt on those. But if you've had two or three wins and you're still not finding ways to get financially ahead, you might just do something else. Realistically, if you're doing it right, you should have time during a camp or during life to engage and learn another skill set. An occupational therapist, a physical therapist, an MRI tech. It'll never be as great as fighting, realistically. I wouldn't tell somebody who's 22, 'Hey, it's just as good of a job. Checking people into the hospital [instead of] fighting, it's going to feel the exact same.' Nothing is going to feel like fighting again. But it's going to feel better than looking around and wondering, 'Okay, what do I do now?'"

After losing his 205-pound title to Rashad Evans at UFC 92, Forrest ended his MMA career with a record of 3-2 with losses to then-middleweight champ Anderson Silva and "Shogun," with his wins coming at the expense of Rich Franklin and Tito Ortiz, twice.

And unlike like other MMA fighters before him who ended their retirement to attempt another run at glory inside the eight-walled cage, Griffin won't be doing the same anytime soon.

Thoughts?

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