Forrest Griffin couldn’t find a more perfect time to retire.
In UFC 148, he defeated his archrival Tito Ortiz by unanimous decision. Ortiz retired after the match, and Griffin shouldn’t hesitate to follow him.
Steven Marrocco of MMAJunkie.com reported that, before the legends faced off for the third and final time, Griffin vowed that he wouldn’t be walking down the same path as Ortiz following the fight.
“In the middle of the journey is no time to take a recollection," he said. "You're still in it. I have plenty of time for doing that later.”
While what Griffin preached deserves to be on a fortune cookie, he’d still be wise to hang up the gloves.
According to Mike Whitman of Sherdog, Griffin talked about he and Ortiz’s stamina throughout the fight after his victory. He said:
He had nothing at the end of the second and third rounds, and I didn't have enough to take advantage of it. It was pretty pathetic. With about two minutes left, he laid on the cage, and I knew he had nothing. I said, “All right. This is my time. I'm going to finish him.” You know what I did? I pressed the gas pedal, and nothing happened.
Griffin is just 3-3 in his last six fights, and two of those were against Ortiz. He hasn’t finished off an opponent by submission or knockout since 2007. At 34 years old, Griffin isn’t as old as fighters like Ortiz and Anderson Silva, but it’s clear that he isn’t the same force that he used to be in the octagon.
Walking away triumphant in the Fight of the Night after finally finishing off his rival is the best way Griffin could go out. If he continues to fight, he risks suffering a loss that would end his storied career on a sour note.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.