Forrest Griffin faces a stern test in his rematch with Mauricio Rua. | Photo: Dave Mandel

When Forrest Griffin toes the line against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the UFC 134 co-main event on Saturday at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he will attempt to pull off a feat no one else can match: beating the 2005 Pride Fighting Championships middleweight grand prix winner twice.

Griffin’s stunning submission victory over Rua at UFC 76 in 2007 remains one of the sport’s most-talked-about upsets, and it launched “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner into a new stratosphere in terms of MMA stardom. Less than a year later, he fought and defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to capture the UFC light heavyweight championship. Griffin views the win over Rua as a turning point in his career.

“It’s below winning TUF, which is the biggest thing I’ve ever done, and winning the belt, which would be the second-biggest thing I’ve ever done,” he said during a pre-fight teleconference. “It’s up there. Obviously, it was pretty big for me at the time. It sort of got me a title shot.”

Rua sympathizers often point to the fact that he entered his first matchup with Griffin at far less than 100 percent. In fairness, he did not fight again for 16 months, the layoff the result of two reconstructive knee surgeries.

“I watched the fight again,” Griffin said. “He looked pretty good to me.”

Still, even Griffin admits Rua has become an entirely different animal in subsequent appearances, including first-round finishes against UFC hall of famer Chuck Liddell and then-UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Ever dangerous, Rua appears to have adjusted and adapted to life in the Octagon.

“Guys maybe at their core don’t change, but he looks a lot different,” Griffin said. “[The first time we fought], that was his first fight in the UFC. That was his first fight in a cage. That was his first fight without kicks on the ground, so, it’s different [this time around].”

As in their first encounter, Griffin will enter the cage as the underdog. He likes how he matches up with the Brazilian, and he welcomed the rematch.

“I think it’s still a reasonably good fight for me,” Griffin said. “You look around at 205 [pounds]; find me an easy fight. There’s no easy fights at the top. The Top 10 guys at 205 are all pretty good, so it doesn’t really matter [who I’m fighting at this level].”

Griffin -- who last fought at UFC 126 in February, when he outpointed former middleweight champion Rich Franklin at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas -- will enter the cage backed by the modest momentum of a two-fight winning streak. He understands the enormous challenge he faces in Rua, who not only hungers to avenge his loss to Griffin but wants to erase the memories left over from his one-sided drubbing at the hands of Jon Jones in March.

“I think you just try and prepare,” Griffin said. “When you watch Shogun and see how good he fought against Chuck Liddell, you just try and be ready for that Shogun. Hopefully, that’s not the guy that will show up, but that’s the guy you want to be ready for.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC 193 Results: Joanna Jedrzejczyk Tops Valerie Letourneau in Unanimous Decision

  • 10 days ago

Joanna Jedrzejczyk battered Valerie Letourneau for five rounds before earning a unanimous decision in the co-main event at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on Sunday. read news >>

UFC 193 Weigh-ins: Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm Skirmish! (main and co-main event)

  • 11 days ago

If you were afraid there wouldn't be enough heat between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm, you can set your worries aside. read news >>

Watch the UFC 193 Q&A Featuring Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin Live on Friday at 6 PM ET

  • 12 days ago

Watch the UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm Q&A featuring hall of famer Forrest Griffin streaming live from Melbourne, Australia on Friday at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT. read news >>

Co-Main Event Podcast: Download episode No. 178 with Ben Fowlkes, Chad Dundas

  • 15 days ago

Episode No. 178 of the Co-Main Event Podcast now is available for streaming and download. This week, the guys recap Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson, look ahead to Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm, and try read news >>

Patrick Cummins: Loss to Glover Teixeira is 'going to help me in the future'

  • 17 days ago

SAO PAULO – UFC Fight Night 77’s co-main event saw Patrick Cummins suffer his second loss in his past three fights when he was stopped in the second round by former light heavyweight title challenger read news >>

UFC Sao Paulo Results: Glover Teixeira Punishes Patrick Cummins in Co-Main Event

  • 17 days ago

Glover Teixeira showed why he's ranked fourth in the light heavyweight devision on Saturday when he finished ninth-ranked Patrick Cummins in the UFC Fight Night 77 co-main event. read news >>

UFC 193 weigh-ins set for Etihad Stadium in Melbourne; Forrest Griffin hosts Q&A

  • 22 days ago

The weigh-ins for UFC 193 are set for Nov. 13 in Melbourne (Nov. 14 in Australia with the time difference) and feature a Q&A with a UFC Hall of Famer after the scale proceedings.Filed under: News, UF read news >>

Co-Main Event Podcast: Download episode No. 177 with Ben Fowlkes, Chad Dundas

  • 22 days ago

Episode No. 177 of the Co-Main Event Podcast now is available for streaming and download. This week, the guys discuss Vitor Belfort-Dan Henderson, Jon Jones’ Twitter beef with Daniel Cormier, Bellato read news >>

Finally Healthy, Abel Trujillo is Fight Ready

  • 23 days ago

Abel Trujillo can’t pinpoint the exact details surrounding the day when he was given the green light to compete again after suffering a broken arm earlier this year, but suffice to say, he was more t read news >>

Co-Main Event Podcast: Download episode No. 176 with Ben Fowlkes, Chad Dundas

  • 29 days ago

Episode No. 176 of the Co-Main Event Podcast now is available for streaming and download. This week the guys discuss Jon Jones’ return, Joseph Duffy’s injury and UFC Fight Night 76 scratch, and UFC-R read news >>