By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
“MMA holds me down. It’s my rock; it’s like my heart. When I’m not with it, I’m thinking about it. It’s my dream, and I’m living it. I don’t even know how much I’m invested in it; that’s how much I’m involved in it. I love it.”
Imagine the person who spoke these words being restricted from the sport.
After suffering a knee injury in the wake of The Capital City’s most buzzed about fight, Max “Pain” Griffin (12-2) struggled, of course, to cope with missing out on competition, but, as a special guest to MMA Destruction (link here), he hit listeners like a super-heavyweight when he was struck with the realization that he’d be flying solo for the next fourteen weeks.
In Griffin’s last outing at West Coast Fighting Championship (WFC), it wasn’t about a strap; instead, a regional title was at stake: “King of Sacramento.” Griffin, the WFC welterweight champ met David “Bulletproof” Mitchell, WFC’s reigning middleweight champion, at a catchweight (175 pounds) in the middle for ownership of the area’s MMA throne at WFC 16. But alas, shortly after three right hands and a forty-three second victory, the winner of seven out of his last eight contests discussed the injury bug that burrowed a home in his knee,
“I’m coming off an injury; I hurt my knee. Right after the Mitchell fight, I tore my LCL, my meniscus is frayed, and I had an ACL strain. If you know about knee problems, they’re serious. I had that for fourteen weeks.”
Griffin described the inner turmoil in turning his attention away from the sporting kingdom he found pleasure presiding within on a daily basis, training out of: Marinoble’s Martial Arts, Team Carnage MMA, and MMAGOLD, and focusing on his own temple,
“I couldn’t move laterally, so all of my training was alone. I couldn’t count on someone not to push me the wrong way, so all of my training was controlled, if that makes sense.” If your sensitivities weren’t torn more than Griffin’s knee already, he alerted everyone on the other end of the podcast that the hiatus shredded his emotions to pieces, “It was hurting my heart. Me personally: I love sparring and live drills. I’ll hit a bag and stuff, work on some combinations, but if it was up to me, I would spar every second.”
In conjunction with missing out on the routinized grind with his teammates and, at thirty years of age, valuable time in the narrow window MMA cracks for its athletes, Griffin believed, over the course of the fourteen weeks, he missed out on opportunities to sharpen his craft,
“It was terrible. I know at MMAGOLD, we had a lot of guys come in: Scott Smith, Jordan Williams; some guys my size, but I couldn’t do anything with any of these guys. We had guys come up from L.A., from Pinnacle [MMA] and other gyms down south to train with us, but I couldn’t train.”
Currently, the “King of Sacramento” has been cleared to return to training, and his smile shines brighter than his crown in each of the gyms he enters.
Check out a quick glimpse of Griffin’s recent sparring session at Urban Sprawl Fitness in El Dorado Hills with comrades worth every ounce of MMAGOLD in their sparring gloves:
Leaving the audience with a happy ending, Griffin was pleased to announce, though hesitant to issue a royal decree, that big news should brighten the marquee of an MMA promotion outside his region’s market in September, which means his dictatorship can spread nationally, even globally, at 170 pounds,
“I can’t wait to sign and knock somebody’s block off on TV; I’ll tell you that.”