by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Coming off of the biggest win in his career – a victory over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 76 in Anaheim, Calif. on Saturday night – Forrest Griffin is already being asked about his next opponent and when he can be expected to appear in the Octagon again.
The UFC’s latest marquee addition, Wanderlei Silva, a former teammate of Rua’s, is the leading name to be mentioned following Griffin’s upset of Rua. The possibility of that fight, however, appears to be questionable.
Silva was expected to face Chuck Liddell on Dec. 29, but that was before Liddell was defeated at UFC 76 by Keith Jardine. On his website Monday, Silva stated that he now wants to fight Griffin after Griffin defeated his friend Rua in Anaheim.
Griffin, who specifically asked for the fight with Rua, suffered a large cut on his forehead during the fight, however, and required stitches to close the wound. Because of the injury, a fight between Griffin and Silva on Dec. 29 may not happen either.
The UFC has planned on Silva debuting on the late December event in Las Vegas.
“It kind of would, yeah,” said Griffin about a December date with Silva being too soon. “I’d love to fight him if I didn’t have a giant hole in my face right now.
“We were in the hotel lobby and I was doing an interview with someone and they’re like ‘Wanderlei just said he wants to fight you’ and I was like ‘Right now, really, right now? He wants to fight me? I know he’s a Chute Boxe guy, but right now?’ And they were like no, no, no … in December.”
Because of the cut, Griffin will take some time and see if it is even realistic for the fight to happen in December.
“We’ll see medically,” Griffin stated about the December card. “[It’ll] take a couple of weeks to figure it out.”
The last time Griffin fought that late in the year was in December of 2006, which also happens to be his last loss, a knockout at the hands of fellow upset artist Keith Jardine.
“Seriously, I’m a fat boy,” joked Griffin when asked about fighting after the holidays. “When I fought Keith (Jardine) right after the holidays, I got knocked out in that fight. It’s hard to get a training camp of people to work with you and you’ve really got to do that. At least it’s late in December so maybe we can do that. We’ll talk to Dana about that and it’s something that I’d love to happen.”
Griffin stated that in the next few weeks he plans on helping many of his teammates in training for upcoming fights, but he’ll have to avoid boxing due to the cut on his face.
The former Ultimate Fighter winner stated that he normally has about an 8-week training camp for his bouts, but has trained up to 14 weeks for a fight. With the cut on his forehead still healing, a Dec. 29 fight with Silva would make a full training camp fairly tight on time for Griffin.
Two other fights that could interest Griffin in the near future would be rematches with either Keith Jardine or Tito Ortiz.
“That’s tough,” said Griffin when choosing between Jardine and Ortiz. “That’s like do you want Sara Lee or do you want Little Debbie?”
Regardless of his next fight, Griffin has a very bright future on the horizon no matter whom he faces.