by Steven Marrocco – MMAWeekly.com
The principle running through Forrest Griffin’s new-ish book “Got Fight? 50 Zen principles of Hand-to-Face Combat” is one he’ll use to defeat Anderson Silva at UFC 101.
Lose yourself in the details.
“If you think about what a bad dude Anderson Silva is, you can (expletive) yourself silly,” Griffin explained to MMAWeekly.
Middleweight terror Silva is back at 205, called by Dana White to move up after two snoozer performances in defense of the 185lb. belt. The antidote to another boring fight: Griffin, who through reckless abandon made himself one of the sport’s most popular figures.
Never mind the fact the Griffin, who once held the light heavyweight title by outpointing Quinton Jackson at UFC 86, has grown into a tactician inside the cage, a trait he attributes to time, money, and marriage. While the plans don’t always work–he lost the strap one fight later to Rashad Evans–he’s not winging punches without regard.
And there’s no way he’s going to do that for Silva, even if many have surmised that the champ’s Achilles heel is a “dirty fight,” or one where he’s not in control of distance and timing.
“Dan Henderson started to do that, and did you see how relaxed Anderson was?” asked Griffin.
So, as he does to order his life, Griffin lists things he’s trying to lose himself in, details he drills to keep manageable the idea of fighting a great. In the gym, they keep him from getting caught up in Silva’s aura. That, and the difficulty of finding someone to duplicate his attack.
“I want my foot outside of his foot,” said Griffin. “There’s a straight left coming. There’s a kick coming. Where’s the fence? Is he high, is he open for a takedown? Find your distance.
“There’s nobody you’re gonna spar with (that’s going to duplicate him) unless Machida wanted to come help me out, which I don’t think he would.”
Even without abandon, Griffin is confident he’ll take punches he used to welcome to get into a fight.
“He’s gonna hit you,” he continued. “You’re gonna miss him, and he’s going to hit you again. But you’ve got to keep pressure, keep moving. Once you close the distance, make it count for something. Go in, get hit, and then change your angle and go again. Look for the takedown, look to drive up against the fence.”
If there was one item he took from Henderson (not to mention Travis Lutter, Nate Marquardt, and Thales Leites), it’s that he needs wrestling to get the job done.
“Yeah, I’ve got to get on top of him, no doubt,” said Griffin. “I’ve gotta find a way to get him on the ground, make him carry my weight on the fence, on the ground, be heavy on him, hang on him. Otherwise, I’m just a big slow guy. I’ve gotta use the weight.”
And if all that fails?
“I don’t think they’re actually going to let him kill me,” he quips. “And if he does kills me, book sales will really go up. Boom…win-win, bitch.”
A little more Hollywood than Zen, but true nonetheless.
“When you’re climbing the mountain of life, you never look up to see how high the mountain is, because it’s scary,” said Griffin. “You look up and say ‘I’m never going to make it up that high.’ And if you look down, you say ‘what a fall.’ You keep your eyes straight ahead and on your next step, and your next footing in front of you. Worry is wasted energy.”