“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” – Mark Caine
Former UFC fighter Tyson Griffin lost his way back in 2010 after doing so well earlier in his career.
Spending much of his time at Xtreme Couture, Griffin was later given new advice in the camp that wasn’t clicking. It quickly became apparent in his fights, as Griffin was abandoning the wrestling that made him so successful in the UFC early on.
Griffin made an unhealthy move to featherweight and after losing four of his last five fights was subsequently released from the UFC in November of 2011.
“I was young in the sport, doing a lot of good things and learning along the way,” Griffin told MMAWeekly Radio.
“I was trying a lot of new things out and I don’t think a lot of those new things helped me. I’m going to go back and do what I did that got me to the top in the first place and see what happens.”
Griffin wasn’t enjoying his environment at Xtreme Couture any longer, and knew that if he couldn’t have fun training anymore that he needed to leave.
Midway through 2012, former teammate Gray Maynard made a call for Griffin to come help him train, and everything started to click again. Griffin quickly realized that if he wanted to make a comeback that American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., was the place to be.
“It’s about the atmosphere in the gym. I need a certain atmosphere to allow me to have fun and I need to have fun if I’m going to be there every day training hard. The fight doesn’t have to be fun. The fight is a fight.
“I feel AKA has what we could’ve had and started to have in Vegas and it kind of fell a part. I feel like AKA has got that same atmosphere and that same kind of mentality there. So, I feel like it’s a great new start and a great place to get back on the winning track and put a win streak together.”
At Resurrection Fighting Alliance 4, all of Griffin’s hard work started to pay off with a victory over fellow UFC veteran Efrain Escudero. Even with the change in camp and a year-long layoff, Griffin looked like his old self again with a crowd-pleasing unanimous decision win.
While the 28-year-old appreciates the challenges at RFA, the end game is always the UFC. And once he’s put himself back on the map, he wants to have at it once again with all of the best fighters in the world.
“I think the end of the game is to compete against the best in the world. Efrain is a good, tough guy, but I want to compete against the best names in the world. That’s what motivates me to train every day and that’s what helps me have fun in the sport.”
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