While he never doubted he belonged and was capable of more than he’d shown, translating potential into performance in his final appearance of 2020 has Griffin heading into his first fight of 2021 ready to show that it wasn’t a one-time thing.

“I feel like if I did dwell on that and did put a lot on (those struggles), I wouldn’t be here,” he said, reflecting on the path that led him to Saturday’s meeting with Song in Las Vegas. “People ask me all the time about, ‘Oh, you’re 1-4 or 3-5,’ but I know how close those fights are and how many of those fights I really won.

“I’m happy that I’m still here. Usually guys lose or something happens and they get cut, but I’ve always been exciting, been in these close-a** fights, and I’m still here, and now I have the opportunity to show it.

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“It’s good for me to still be here and I’m getting better every fight,” he added. “Every single fight I’m better and showing something new.”

Saturday’s bout with Song is another opportunity for Griffin to showcase the steady improvements he’s always making and what his further work with Patterson has yielded, while also putting him across the cage from a fighter who has earned four victories in five starts inside the Octagon.

The 30-year-old Song made a splash in his promotional debut with a 15-second knockout win over Bobby Nash, and then followed it up with a second-round finish of Hector Aldana in his sophomore showing. He landed on the wrong side of the scorecards in a Fight of the Night-winning clash against Alex Morono towards the end of 2018, but has since rebounded with two more victories, including a first-round knockout of Callan Potter in his lone appearance of 2020.