Griffin cuts honeymoon for date with Ortiz

Tito Ortiz (right) looks to give Forrest Griffin his third loss in a row at UFC 106. (UFC photo)

Tito Ortiz (right) looks to give Forrest Griffin his third loss in a row at UFC 106. (UFC photo)

NEIL SPRINGER -- SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 3:10 PM ET

It didn't take much to convince Forrest Griffin to get back into the octagon after two tough losses in a row.

A phone call and a name -- (The Huntington Bad Boy) Tito Ortiz -- was all it took for the former light-heavyweight champion to agree to the fight.

In fact, Griffin was so eager to take on Ortiz at UFC 106 Saturday in Las Vegas, he even cut his own honeymoon short after getting the call from UFC president Dana White.

"I was coming down the mountain on my honeymoon and he (White) said, 'Do you want to fight Tito?'" Griffin recalls. "I said, 'Let's do it Dec. 12. Give me a little more time.' He called me back the next day and said it's Nov. 21. So I said, 'Okay, let’s do it.'

"I cut my honeymoon short, drove back and just started training right then."

After dropping his light-heavyweight belt to (Sugar) Rashad Evans at UFC 92, Griffin (16-6) suffered the most embarrassing defeat of his career at UFC 101, getting knocked out by Anderson (The Spider) Silva.

In what could be best described as the MMA equivalent to "The Matrix," Silva dodged around Griffin's punches. To add insult to injury, the middleweight champion dropped him three times in just over three minutes. The loss sent the TUF 1 winner running from the cage.

While some fighters opt to take time off after a devastating loss, White said Griffin isn't among that group. It didn't take much to convince him to get back in the cage.

"When these guys lose -- you've got to get back on the horse," White said. "Especially Forrest. Forrest is a really emotional guy. He didn't take that loss easily. He wasn't Forrest after that fight, you know? I think it's better to jump right back in there instead of just sitting there to commiserate for however many months before you fight again.

"I don't think I've ever had to twist Forrest Griffin's arm to fight."

The fact that Griffin dropped a controversial split-decision to Ortiz (15-6-1) back at UFC 59 on April 15, 2006 may have also played a role in his quick return. This could be his opportunity to even the score, but Griffin admitted he doesn't care how he wins the fight.

"I'm not looking to make a statement," Griffin said. "I'm looking to win a fight -- any way that can happen. I'll take anything; I don't care. I'm not looking for something spectacular."

Ortiz, on the other hand, is making his UFC return after 18 months away from action. He's coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 84.

Ortiz admitted a lot has changed since their first fight more than three years ago, but was quick to mention that he feels Griffin's striking has actually gotten worse.

"I don't know, over the years he's punched a little slower and softer," Ortiz said. "There's a little smack talk for you. I see his wrestling has gotten a lot better, though."

Despite the verbal jab, Ortiz said he considers Griffin one of the top fighters going today.

"This fight against Forrest -- he's ranked top five in the world and I feel like the underdog, which is awesome," Ortiz said. "I love to be the underdog. All of a sudden the tides have changed."


Videos

Photos