Featherweights of the world beware, there’s a new competitor entering your weight class in 2011.
Tyson Griffin has officially announced his intentions to drop down to featherweight for his next fight when he returns to the UFC later this year. The debut however will be a bit delayed as Griffin has opted to get some much needed surgery on his knee to repair a few things, and then he plans on getting back in training and working to get down to 145lbs.
“It’s going to be a little bit longer here before I can commit to a fight. Been having some problems with my knee, decided to get an MRI, found some tears in my meniscus, decided to get those cleaned out, and it’s going to be a few more weeks before I can put my knee to the test and make sure things are good to go,” Griffin said via his official website.
Griffin has been out of action since dropping a very controversial split decision to Nik Lentz at UFC 123 last November. It seemed Griffin was a clear winner in the fight, taking Lentz down and slamming him with big punches throughout the three round bout. In the end however, the judges gave the nod to Lentz, much to the surprise of everyone in the arena and also including UFC President Dana White.
The loss marked Griffin’s third in a row, but White said following the fight that he had no intentions of letting the Xtreme Couture fighter go, and he would get more opportunities in the Octagon.
Since the fight ended, Griffin has pondered a move to featherweight and now he’s finally decided to officially make the shift down to 145lbs.
“I’ve got some big plans for 2011, and unfortunately they’re put on hold right now, but those plans are to move to 145 and make a run for that belt. So you can see me at a new weight class looking stronger and better than ever hopefully,” Griffin said.
During his time at lightweight in the UFC, Griffin has faced some of the best competition at 155lbs and has big wins over many of those opponents. He expects the same results at featherweight.
When the UFC first announced that they were merging with the WEC and bringing in the featherweight and bantamweight divisions, it was assumed that some fighters at lightweight might start looking to make the move down to a lower weight class. Griffin is the first high profile lightweight to officially proclaim his move down.
The Las Vegas based fighter will have no shortage of challenges at 145lbs, and could even settle an old rivalry with former WEC champion Urijah Faber. Griffin knocked Faber out back in 2005, and ever since that time the fighters have sparred back and forth verbally and with the move, a big fight could happen in the future.
MMAWeekly.com will have more information on Griffin’s return when it becomes available.