'TUF' winner, former light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin retires from UFC


forrest-griffin-21.jpgLAS VEGAS – The fighter UFC President Dana White has said for eight years is one of the biggest reasons for the company’s success will hang up his gloves.

Forrest Griffin, the Season 1 light heavyweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” and a former 205-pound champion, on Saturday announced his retirement from the UFC. The announcement came at the post-event news conference for UFC 160, which took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“It’s been a good eight years, I guess,” Griffin (19-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) immediately after making the announcement. “The biggest thing I learned is when Dana White says retire, you should retire.”

Though Griffin was mostly joking, he said the injuries he’s sustained in recent years that have forced him out of two of his past three fights played a major factor in making his decision.

Griffin, a Las Vegas native, will hold a position with the UFC, White said – though that position has yet to be determined.

“I truly believe we are where we are because of this guy,” White said. “We had this great event tonight that was packed with people going crazy, and he’s one of the guys who has been one of the building blocks in this sport and this company.”

Griffin made the cast of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and in the live finale, he engaged in a three-round slugfest with Stephan Bonnar that became the UFC’s hallmark fight. The bout has been called the No. 1 fight in UFC history, which Griffin won by a close 29-28 unanimous decision.

After a 6-2 start to his UFC career, Griffin was given a title shot against then-champ Quinton Jackson. And at UFC 86 in July 2008, Griffin beat “Rampage” to win the title with a five-round unanimous decision.

In his first defense of the title later that year at UFC 92, though, he was stopped by Rashad Evans with a third-round TKO.

In his career, besides the “TUF” and light heavyweight title wins, Griffin holds notable wins over Chael Sonnen in 2003 before they were in the UFC, a second win over Stephan Bonnar, Mauricio Rua, Rich Franklin and two wins in three fights against Tito Ortiz in a six-year-long rivalry.

Griffin closed his career with three wins in four fights, including two over Ortiz. The lone loss in the four was a knockout setback to Rua in a rematch at UFC 134.

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