When Pride ceased operations, the UFC welcomed Shogun with open arms. They even gave him a fight against one of their most visible fighters in Forrest Griffin before hopefully setting him up with a title shot. He considered by many as the top light-heavyweight in the world, after all.
Unfortunately things didn't work out as planned, and a visibly exhausted Shogun lost to the underrated original Ultimate Fighter.
Griffin would go on to claim the UFC championship, where as Shogun would be out of action for over a year due to a knee injury suffered during the fight. When he did return he would go on to fight three times that year, to include his first crack at the title.
While this is a fight which saw Griffin claim one of his greatest wins, it is also a turning point in Shogun's career where the fighter we saw return to action and finish Chuck Liddell and Lyoto Machida was remarkable improved.
Speaking of Chuck Liddell...