In the long list of knockouts that have ended a fighter's career, one will stand out above the rest. That being the one that Anderson Silva delivered upon Forrest Griffin at UFC 101. Whether one wants to admit it or not, Forrest Griffin's career is pretty much dead as we know it. His days as that one guy who helped bring millions of fans into the UFC are over. His days as that one guy who had his career slaughtered at the hands of Anderson Silva has begun. There's no shame in losing to Anderson Silva. None whatsoever. But, this loss stands out above all others. In one of the most bizarre, embarrassing, and highlight reel knockouts ever completed, Anderson Silva ended Forrest Griffin's career in essentially the same jaw-dropping fashion that it began. And it, quite simply, is a shame. People who know me best know that I do not particularly care for Forrest Griffin but I always respected him as a fighter and as a person. It's just a shame to see a career end the way that his did.
Forrest Griffin was looking for a way out of that fight. He found it with a right hand at the end. Watching the fight again, you will notice that when Anderson lets him back up, Anderson puts his hand out to help him up and Forrest shakes it and then looks immediately like he wants to get out of there. There was a moment during the fight where Silva basically yelled out "come on" and slapped his hands against his chest as if to urge Forrest to fight him. At that moment, Forrest almost looked as if he replied to Silva with a verbal "I am". Griffin's definition of trying certainly did not meet the expectations of Silva. During the first minute, Griffin thought he had a chance and then the thunder came. That was beyond a destruction. That was a reckoning. Anderson Silva flat out told the world that this man was not worthy to stand in his presence. And how did he do it? By putting his hands down. He bobbed and weaved like he knew Forrest had no chance to hurt him. And Forrest really didn't. He was too slow, too weak, and too predictable to even faze Anderson Silva.
This is, quite emphatically, the end of Forrest Griffin's career. I'm sure he'll fight again. I'd bet my bottom dollar that he fights again. But he won't ever mean something again. He'll be that one guy who Anderson Silva not only destroyed in the cage but also on paper. Years down the road when people look back at a guy's career, they'll stumble upon Forrest Griffin and wonder what happened to him after he won the title. What happened? Anderson Silva happened. Sure, Rashad Evans beat him. But, Anderson Silva defeated him. Forrest Griffin is now a defeated man. It's as simple as that.
Forrest Griffin will go on to win a few fights here and there that people wouldn't expect him to win but he'll never be the fighter that he was before he walked into the cage last tonight. He's never going to evolve his skills enough to warrant another title shot unless fighters go by the wayside either by injury or by losses to other guys. He'll never beat guys like Rashad or Rampage, which was still controversial, because he lacks the raw power and chin to be effective enough against their strikes. He'll never beat a guy like Machida because he isn't quick or versatile enough, which is exactly what we saw last tonight against Anderson Silva. He'll never beat a guy like Shogun again because that was a fluke. The Forrest Griffin that we knew is gone.
I hope people really understand what happened in the cage last tonight. We saw one man totally dehumanize another man. The degree to which Anderson Silva embarrassed Forrest Griffin tonight is almost illegal. He took Forrest Griffin's manhood. After he was finished, Forrest Griffin got up and walked out the cage. He actually ran to the back area. He didn't shake hands, he didn't congratulate Silva, and he didn't stick around to be interviewed. He was embarrassed, dehumanized, and flat out tooled. Forrest Griffin knew what had just happened and could not face the reality of it.
Anderson Silva has ended Forrest Griffin's career.