Sometimes, when a guy gets cut from a big organization like the UFC, the driving force in their life doesn't become all about getting back into their family. For some, it becomes about moving ahead and forging new relationships. When lightweight staple, Tyson Griffin was cut from the organization, I have to admit that I was taken aback by the decision. How do you cut a guy that was a six time 'of the night' bonus winner? His losses were to some very tough opponents, and the promotion does have a bit of a reputation for keeping guys around that might not boast the best record.
Tyson doesn't have any regrets, though, and appears to be in a happier, more harmonious place in his life than I've ever known him to be. I've interviewed him at least a dozen times over the last six years, and the change is as clear as day. He faults himself for not fostering better relationships with the brass, and hopes to make that change as he moves forward with his career and new home at WSOF.
My co-host, Evan Shoman and myself collaborated on a fantastic interview with Tyson recently. He spoke about how unhealthy the cut to 145 was for him, his new goals for the remainder of his career, facing off against a legendary fighter in Gesias 'JZ' Cavalcante, and much more. I'm including a couple quotes from the article, which you can read in it's entirety at HOV MMA.
I'm just trying to build quality relationships. I only have myself to blame for not building great relationships with the UFC people. I understand business and I wasn't winning, so it made sense that they cut me. Ray Sefo and I trained together at Extreme Couture, so we know each other very well. If I build good relationships at WSOF I'm not going to jump ship on them, just for the chance to make more money. Currently, it's 1 day, 1 fight, and 1 camp at a time. Thus far, they have done everything that a good organization should do. Right now, I am fighting for WSOF and I want to help them grow as much as they are helping to promote me.
Fighting at 145
I don't think 145 was a good fit for me. I didn't feel healthy, comfortable, or safe at that weight. The possibility of fighting Aldo, trying to getting more exposure, and basically being stubborn; I was trying to use those things as motivation. I ended up breaking my body down and got really sick. Cutting weight while being sick for my fight with Bart Palaszewski was miserable. Getting cut from the UFC after that really hurt me mentally and I went into a little depression. I took some time off from the sport and just tried enjoying life again. Little by little, I got back into it and started having fun again.
You can follow Tyson via his Twitter account, @TysonGriffin