After suffering defeat in his debut at UFC 202 and being dragged to the lowest lows of his fighting career, Max ‘Pain’ Griffin (13-3) elevated his game—to 7,382 feet in the sky—and met his expectations of domination when he returned to the Octagon, and winning ways, to face Erick ‘Perry’ Montano (8-4) at UFC Fight Night 98: Dos Anjos vs Ferguson.
During Griffin’s post-fight interview with Jon Anik, as he’d discussed on Episode 1 of the MMAGOLD Podcast (link here) and other media outlets, he revealed the magnitude of the UFC rattled his nerves when opening his stint in MMA’s leading promotion against Colby Covington (10-1). He said,
“My first fight was on UFC 202, and I was overwhelmed mentally, just being signed by the UFC.”
In fifty-four seconds, Griffin demonstrated a crisper reflection of his skill set, to those with their dials turned to Fox Sports 1 and all the ticket-holders inside the Arena Ciudad de Mexico, when his dismantled the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil: Season 2.
At the 4:22 mark in the opening frame, Montano stabbed at Griffin with a right hand that had found its mark only moments before. Just as Griffin wasn’t repeating any mistakes from his past UFC adventure, he wouldn’t allow Montano to repeat any successes; therefore, he countered the attack with a right hand of his own, clipping Montano behind the ear and knocking him off balance.
The killer instincts Griffin’s fan base in Northern California had grown accustomed to witnessing were unveiled for the world. Leaving Montano with no room to breathe, despite his acclamation to the elevation, the California native swarmed on his stunned opposition. According to the referee, Jarin Valel, twenty-three unanswered punches while on the ground was simply too much ‘Pain’ being delivered, so, he waved off the contest.
When standing with Anik in the center of the Octagon, draped in the American flag, and soaking in the energy from his inaugural UFC win, with many more to follow, Griffin proclaimed,
“This is how I fight. This is me, and I’m coming for everybody.”
Back home, Griffin is royalty in the sport, even dubbed: “King of Sacramento,” and his loyal subjects would attest: his performance at UFC Fight Night 98 is a tasty sample of what’s in store for the remaining 170-pounders on the UFC’s roster.