Tyson Griffin has long been considered one of the top fighters in the UFC’s lightweight division. He flirted with title contention, amassing seven wins and only two losses in his first nine bouts in the Octagon.
That’s when he hit a skid that lasted three fights.
It’s not like Griffin lost to nobodies. He dropped three-straight to Evan Dunham, Takanori Gomi, and Nik Lentz; the Dunham and Lentz bouts by razor-thin split decisions.
Having made the drop to featherweight once before in his career – he defeated former WEC kingpin Urijah Faber to win the Gladiator Challenge featherweight title – Griffin was confident that he could do it again.
“The weight cut was easier than I thought (it would be),” Griffin told MMAWeekly Radio after taking the plunge at UFC on Versus 4.
Having fought some of the best in the 155-pound division, Griffin didn’t want to do anything less at 145. He started his latest phase in the division against Top 10 ranked Manny Gamburyan, walking away with a unanimous decision victory.
Griffin doesn’t want to slow down either. He wants to keep racing head-on into the best that the UFC has to offer, not work his way up from the bottom of the barrel.
“I think I stack up great (at 145). I’m ready to fight more contenders and establish myself as number one,” he said.
“I’m ready to sign a fight with Kenny Florian or Chad Mendes or anybody that’s fought for the title or they consider number one. If Jose Aldo gets lined up for a fight and somebody gets injured, I’ll fight Jose Aldo next. I don’t care.”
That’s definitely aiming right at the top, but it’s not like Griffin isn’t used to fight top tier talent. He may be in a new weight class, fighting a slightly smaller version of the competition he faced at 155, but nothing’s changed. Griffin didn’t leave his skill set behind when he dropped 10 extra pounds.
“I’m definitely ready for the challenge.”