Griffin was the right man at the right place at the right
The Columbus, Ohio, native joined the inaugural cast of “The
Ultimate Fighter” reality series in 2005 and emerged as one of its
breakout stars, as he went on to defeat Stephan
Bonnar at the unforgettable finale and lock down a “six-figure
contract” with the
Ultimate Fighting Championship. Griffin spent the better part
of a decade competing at a high level in the UFC, where he compiled
a 10-5 record and captured the undisputed light heavyweight crown.
He announced his retirement in 2013 and was later inducted into the
modern-era wing of the UFC Hall of Fame.
Nearly eight years removed from Griffin’s final appearance inside
the Octagon, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. His technical skills often went
Despite his reputation as a blood-and-guts brawler, Griffin
excelled in the grappling department. In fact, he had more career
victories by submission (six) than he did by knockout (four).
Griffin had two preferred methods on the mat, as he posted four
wins by rear-naked choke and two others by triangle choke. His list
of victims included Chael
Fontes Braga and Mauricio
2. The peak was brief.
Griffin’s 175-day reign atop the light heavyweight division was the
third-shortest in history at 205 pounds. Only Randy
Couture (127 days) and Rashad
Evans (147 days) spent less time on top of the mountain.
Griffin upset Quinton
Jackson for the title on July 5, 2008, then surrendered it to
Evans a little less than six months later.
3. He never shied away from a challenge.
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4. Numbers paint him in a positive light.
Griffin still resides in the Top 10 all-time among UFC light
heavyweights in a number of statistical categories. He ranks second
in significant strikes landed (796), fourth in post-fight bonuses
(six), fifth in total strikes landed (1,096), sixth in submission
attempts (eight), eighth in wins (10), eighth in takedown accuracy
(.435) and 10th in appearances (15).
5. He branched out from MMA.
“The Ultimate Fighter 1” winner has enjoyed some crossover success,
having appeared in a number of feature films. They include “I Hope
They Serve Beer in Hell,” “13” and “Unrivaled.” Griffin also landed
roles in commercials and on television shows, like “Ball Up” and
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
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