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UFC prospect Griffin credits sports psychologist for his recent 54-second TKO victory

Max “Pain” Griffin spoke with Bloody Elbow to discuss the stylistics of UFC Fight Night 106 opponent Sergio Moraes, employing a sports psychologist, and traveling abroad with the UFC.

UFC welterweight Max “Pain” Griffin is coming off of a :54 second TKO of Erick Montano, in Mexico City, as he will be travelling abroad once again to face Sergio Moraes at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum in Fortaleza, Brazil. Before his March 11, 2017 tilt, Griffin caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss his UFC Fight Night 98 finish at altitude, working with a sports psychologist, and his thoughts of traveling the world with the UFC.

Defeating Erick Montano with a :54 TKO at UFC Fight Night 98:

“It feels good. It feels good to do what got me signed, you know. Honestly, it’s a relief to know I could do that, do what I do, at that level. It feels good for my confidence and everything.”

You didn’t spend much time in the octagon, but did you notice any difference in the elevation?

“Yeah, when we first got out there, we did a lot of training. First day, first night, we trained a lot at the same time that I’d be fighting, just for my body to get used to fighting at that time and at the elevation. Training was hard; I’m not going to lie... I did notice it, but a few days in, it got easier and easier to hit pads and move around. So, by the time the fight happened, it was pretty normal to me.”

The difference between your UFC debut and your sophomore appearance:

“It was kind of more like a been there, done that kind of thing. I wasn’t overwhelmed. I wasn’t like, in awe. I wasn’t like, impressed with all the glitz and the glam, like the first time. It’s a business trip. The first time, I was kind of like, ‘oh my God, I’m in the UFC, I can’t believe it.’ Now it’s like, it’s work. It’s my job. So, it’s like another day in the office, just a different location.”

Hiring a sports psychologist:

“For that fight, I hired a sports psychologist and worked with them a lot. They got me focused on being in the moment. You don’t really know you’re in the moment until you’re working on being in the moment, like consciously. My last fight was proof of that.”

Getting your passport stamped again, heading to UFC Fight Night 106 in Fortaleza:

“I think it’s cool, man. It’s a blessing. I’ve been fighting in California for the longest, fighting in Oregon, moving around. Then I’m going to these locales, you know; Mexico City, Brazil. I wouldn’t say anyone would just go to Mexico City on their own, but going to Brazil is a vacation. I’m looking forward to it. It’s showing that what I’m doing is world class stuff, and putting me around the world by my talent. It’s cool to get recognized for that and be able to fight around the world. It’s an honor.”

Would you prefer to fight outside of the United States?

“I don’t really mind, you know. It’s on their dime, if you want to send me to the U.K., or Italy, or Australia. I was kind of wanting to go to Australia. So, if there’s some Ultimate Fighter guy that was on Australia, I’m down to go beat him up, too.”

The stylistics of Sergio Moraes:

“Stylistically, I like it. He’s a world champion Jits guy, but he bangs it out. I don’t know if it’s his pride, but I’ve seen he’s getting better. His hands are getting better and better every fight. He’s tough, gritty. He’ll bang, you know. We’ll see what happens. I’m excited. It’s going to have action. We’re not just going to move around and bullshit, like he’s down to sling ‘em. I haven’t had that before, so I’m looking forward to that.

“He has really good Jiu-Jitsu, world class obviously, but he’s not a wrestler, you know. He has a single leg that he’ll do sometimes, but if you watch his fights, you wouldn’t even really know he’s a Jits guy, as of late. He really just stands there and bangs. If he kind of gets a hold of you, then he’ll do something to you, but he’s patient. He’s not really aggressive with the takedown and aggressive with his Jits. He’s more complacent with it.”

Specific training:

“Mainly, just situational. We know what he does, so we’ve just been doing business as usual. I’ve been training harder, smarter, faster getting stronger. He’s a strong guy. I’m working a lot of my muscle groups, muscle endurance. A lot of stuff on the ground, but more defense, because he likes that single leg, you know. We’ve really just been emulating the kind of stuff he does, the kind of attacks he does, just to nullify some of those.”

Watch Max “Pain” Griffin take on Sergio Moraes at UFC Fight Night 106 on March 11, 2017. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of you MMA coverage including interviews, analysis, results, and more!