Maybe people will be treating the mild-mannered Chad Griggs differently come this Saturday.
In his promotional debut with Strikeforce last August, the Arizonian was set with the tall task of handing then undefeated heavyweight prospect Bobby Lashley his first professional loss.
Though Lashley was largely known for his stint as a popular star of the WWE, he has some serious collegiate wrestling credentials to boot, making him a legitimate threat to nearly everyone he faced. Griggs, however, doused the star of Lashley with a second-round TKO win.
“I’m really excited to get in there and try to display some more stuff. Bobby, our fight was just exactly the way we wanted it to go,” said Griggs as he spoke with MMAWeekly.com before gearing up for his next fight on Saturday in Strikeforce.
“He took us down a few times, but the whole game plan was to just stay out of trouble and wear him out for the first round and a half, not get hurt, and that’s exactly what he did. He blew his wad. So I did catch him with a couple of things, but I’m hoping to have a little bit more excitement, get to do a little bit more stand-up, a little more ground game.”
Not exactly the most imposing heavyweight fighter, Griggs is about 225 pounds by the time he steps inside the cage, and has toyed with the idea of shedding some pounds in order to compete as a light heavyweight. His upcoming bout with Gian Villante, however, couldn’t have come at a better time. The two men will meet on the main card for Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva on Saturday night, which features the organization’s inaugural World Heavyweight Grand Prix. Griggs’ bout with Villante is one of the reserve matches, meaning should suffer an injury, Griggs or Villante could step in and be in contention for the Grand Prix title.
It’s the kind of recognition and progression that Griggs wants in order to shed doubt about the kind of fighter he is.
“You want to continue to build up and I’m not the can that is supposed to get smashed,” said the 32-year-old.
“(Villante) is about my size, so I think it will be a little easier for me to move around on the ground. I had a hulking 250-pound muscle on me, squeezing me to death. I just want to be a little quicker moving fight, with us both being lighter heavyweights that can move. I think it will be an exciting fight with some blood.”