22 year old Josh Grispi was supposed to make his UFC debut in a title fight against featherweight champ Jose Aldo at UFC 125. He'd reeled off four straight wins in the WEC, all first round finishes. The young gunslinger had turned top contenders like Mark Hominick and L.C. Davis, prospect Micah Miller and legend Jens Pulver into nothing more than trophies on his wall.
Then it all went wrong.
Due to injuries that kept Aldo from fighting on the card, Grispi found himself fighting on the undercard against an utterly unheralded Dustin Poirier. And, Grispi got his ass kicked. Poirier made Grispi look like he didn't belong in the same cage.
Saturday night at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale, Grispi got a second chance to redeem himself and get things back on track against over-sized striker George Roop. Despite taking Roop down early and dominating position for most of the first round, Grispi was unable to do anything with it and once again got his ass kicked.
Ben Fowlkes put it best:
It's strange to think that not so long ago, this guy was considered a credible challenger for Jose Aldo's title. The fighter who showed up to face George Roop on Saturday looked like a man who would have preferred to be almost anywhere else. It's never a good sign when your cornermen are all but begging you not to quit between rounds. He made it into the third, but just barely, and he didn't need much encouragement to crumble up and collapse after Roop hammered him with a body shot. Any fighter is going to have his good nights and bad nights, but Grispi has fallen off hard lately. Might be time to sit down with his coaches and talk about what he's really trying to accomplish here.
As young as Grispi is, it's too soon to give up on him, but it might be time for the UFC to send him out into the wilderness to see if he can pick up some wins and get his head back on straight.
It's entirely possible that the 145lb division is just that green and now that there is the prospect of real UFC money to be made fighting at featherweight, a higher caliber of athlete (see Florian, Kenny) is coming to bring the division a brutal and relentless house-cleaning.
What do you think? Is it just Grispi or is it the division changing out from underneath him?
What's the deal with Grispi's sudden fall?
The division is getting cleaned out by a new wave of big-time talent. (478 votes)
Grispi's situation is entirely personal, no bigger trends at play. (808 votes)
1286 total votes