UFC joker has cure for 'Sick Dog'

JOSE RODRIGUEZ

, Last Updated: 6:12 PM ET

Getting a straight answer from Ultimate Fighting Championship funnyman Forrest Griffin can be as draining as three rounds in the cage with Randy Couture.

But going into his fight against Hector ‘Sick Dog’ Ramirez at UFC 72, the 205-pounder admits that since his knockout at the fists of Keith ‘Dean of Mean’ Jardine, he’s questioning his ability to take a punch.

"I learned maybe I don’t have the chin I thought I did and maybe I need to re-evaluate my game plan for this sort of thing," said Griffin, who has a record of 13-and-four.

"I mean he hit a little harder than I thought he did and my chin wasn’t as good as I thought it was.

"I’ve been knocked out a bunch — like out cold…but I’ve never been kind of like – where my body wasn’t doing what I told it to and I didn’t really know how to react to that."

But in true Griffin form, there weren’t too many questions the Georgia native took seriously during the press conference hyping the June 16 card in Belfast, N. Ireland.

Asked about his health, Griffin responded: "It’s horrible. I’ve got Herpes. I’ve got Hepatitis. I’ve got all kinds of nasty (crap). But, as long as the blood tests work out...

And Griffin is not impressed with having to cross the Atlantic to fight.

"Man, I don’t like traveling for vacation let alone for work," he said.

"You know? I moved out in Vegas so I could fight here in Vegas. I hate traveling. I can’t pack right."

Griffin is coming into the fight favoured to win, but he knows he’ll have his work cut out for him against Ramirez, an East L.A. construction worker with heavy fists and a 6-2-1 record.

"I was kind of thinking about maybe (defending against) punches a little bit," said Griffin.

"That seems like a good idea"

jose.rodriguez@sunmedia.ca


FIGHT NOTES:

  • Chuck Liddell may no longer be light-heavyweight champ, but he remains king of publicity for the UFC. He appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman this past Thursday and explained his recent loss to Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson came because he threw a wild punch that left him exposed — against the advice of his trainer. Liddell also said his sport is safer than boxing and avenging the losses to Jackson is high on his priority list. For his part, Letterman admitted to watching UFC and said it’s made him think twice about flipping off drivers during his commute in case one may be a fighter.
  • UFC light heavyweight champ Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson told CBS in Los Angeles this week that his first title defense fight against Dan Henderson will take place at UFC 75 in London, England. Also expected to be on the Sept. 8 card are Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Michael Bisping and Italy’s Alessio Sakara.
  • EliteXC will host its Strikeforce middleweight championship card June 22 in San Jose, Calif. The fight league held a press conference this week with its featured fighters for the card — MMA legend Frank Shamrock and the foul-mouthed Phil ‘The New York Bad Ass’ Baroni. It was a heated affair — most of it not fit for a family newspaper — but here are some highlights:
    Baroni: "(Shamrock’s) a punk. He’s a scum bag. He’s a fraud. He’s an ###hole. "
    Shamrock: "I am a professional fighter. Phil is a professional idiot."
    Should be an interesting fight.
  • There’s no shortage of the great unwashed lining up to take shots at mixed martial arts. This week, a writer for the Grand Rapids Press in Michigan took it a step further and insulted you — fans of the sport.
    Here’s what he said.
    Here's what UFC fans have in common: A. They're mostly Neanderthal males hiding in caves. B. They're not nearly sophisticated enough to appreciate the sweet science of boxing. C. They still think the "Flintstones" is a documentary.
    Here’s a simple suggestion for those who don’t like MMA: Change the channel.


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