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Talk Radio: What is the future of Tyson Griffin in the UFC Lightweight division?

By Zach Arnold | June 8, 2010

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He fights Evan Dunham this Saturday night at UFC 115 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Almost a must-win fight for Tyson…

From Sherdog radio on Monday:

JACK ENCARNACAO: “Well, I think the knockout of Hermes Franca put more of an exclamation point on what had been an issue for him in terms of finishing fights. I think a Tyson Griffin who can put a stamp on opponents with his hands is a much more effective Tyson Griffin at putting together the wins that he needs to get to the top. He always has exciting fights. I think it was like seven straight decisions, though, and they’re all nip-tuck and you know it was you know 10-9s, someone went to one, some went to the other, a bunch of split decision in there, the (Sean) Sherk fight was close, the (Clay) Guida fight was close, the (Frankie) Edgar fight was close, the fights that really you know made a difference in terms of whether he got catapulted up into an inevitable title shot or not seemed to be too close to call more often than not and I think that was a bit because Griffin had to harness more than just his other-worldly scrambling ability, you know, and his ability to dodge jiu-jitsu guys trying to post up submissions on him and taking his back. I think if the Hermes Franca stoppage was any indication, it’s tough to get a read because right after that Hermes I think got stopped on a small show I think in Texas and then retired from the game because he felt like it was a downward trend at that point for him. But you know Hermes had only been stopped once, I believe, before in his career prior to that Tyson Griffin fight via strikes, so it was a definite endorsement, a definite plus and hopefully at least for Tyson Griffin hopefully a shade of something more that he’s bringing to the table now in terms of being able to get the kind of emphatic wins that will move him up the title ranks. But as long as it’s these very, very close nip-tuck decisions that sometimes he doesn’t end up on the right end of, it’s going to be difficult to really set himself apart I would say at 155, but I think Evan Dunham, Lotfi, is kind of an opponent that will definitely produce that exciting, protracted fight but I think will put Griffin in enough compromising positions that he’s going to have to be ultra-sharp, I think, and not just from a defensive but from an offensive posture. I think we saw with Efrain Escudero you know where he put down Evan Dunham in the first round and everyone thought it was you know a wrap-up win for the TUF 8 champion and then to come back as strong as he did so emphatically and find that arm-bar in the second round definitely gave I think probably give Tyson Griffin a sense coming into this fight that if he has anywhere close to a stoppage in front of him, he’s going to absolutely run through that opening and not allow Evan Dunham time to recover because he clearly can do damage if you do allow that, I mean, do you think this fight holds that potential more so than other Griffin fights or do you think that him stopping Hermes Franca means anything? Does it speaks more to Hermes Franca’s deteriorating ability to continue or willingness to continue or does it speak really to Griffin showing something entirely new to his game?”

LOTFI SARIAHMED: “I think it’s more the former than it is the latter, unfortunately, and I think Tyson Griffin, this is a very dangerous fight for Tyson Griffin I kind of think. Evan Dunham is more than capable of sealing a win here and really skyrocketing forward as Tyson Griffin kind of gets stuck in the same sort of path that he’s been in, but with that said it’s still a very close fight. I’m not picking Evan Dunham by any means, I think it’s a close fight, really haven’t made a decision to that front. But… I would expect that this fight goes to a decision, I would expect that this fight is one where despite Tyson Griffin’s recent forward wins over (Rafael) Dos Anjos and Franca, you’d still need to see him step up onto this bigger stage because Evan Dunham’s a guy that you could very well be seeing on that next level, on that next tier and to this point Tyson Griffin when he’s faced guys like that has slipped up whether it be, you go back to the Frankie Edgar fight, you go back to the Sean Sherk fight. As great as both of those fights were, he still ended up losing, he still ended up on the wrong side and to come close only counts for so much for so long and I think Tyson really does need the win here. A loss here would kind of leave him on that second tier of Lightweights for the foreseeable future when we’ve been talking about him for a while with regard to maybe taking that next step up. Here’s a guy who, if my very poor math serves me correctly, is 26 right now and this is the time where if all the hype is supposed to be met, well he’s supposed to be making these big moves and I think it starts with Evan Dunham. If he were to make a move like that and then he kind of builds up from there because Dos Anjos is a nice win, Franca doesn’t really tell you anything considering where Franca is right now, but it starts with Dunham and he keeps building it up from there and I think Tyson Griffin is in a spot where he wins this, then he gets another fight against a name and then we’ll see just whether or not we can talk about Tyson Griffin in the same vain we talk about Gray Maynard, Kenny Florian, Frankie Edgar, BJ Penn.”

Topics: All Topics, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

One Response to “Talk Radio: What is the future of Tyson Griffin in the UFC Lightweight division?”

  1. Vic Mackey says:



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