While Max Griffin (13-3) is known as ‘Pain’ in the hurt business, fight fans will feel an ache in their heart if they miss his next triumphant hunt at UFC Fight Night 106: Belfort vs. Gastelum in Fortaleza, Brazil against Sergio ‘The Panther’ Moraes (11-2-1).
Once again, the UFC has requested Griffin’s welterweight services and sent him south to face an enemy in their own backyard. Heralded as the ‘King of Sacramento’ in his own neck of the woods, the product of Marinoble’s Kickboxing and Martial Arts, in conjunction with MMAGOLD and Jamie Jara BJJ, readies for another journey into unfamiliar territory—a legend growing from a common narrative.
In Griffin’s last trip to the Octagon, he scaled the side of a mountain to meet the pride of Mexico City and winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America Season 2, Erick Montano at UFC Fight Night 98: Dos Anjos vs. Ferguson. Fifty-four seconds into the first round, the deafening boos that muffled Griffin’s walkout music transformed into a celebratory array of cheers. Though it was difficult for those inside Arena Ciudad de Mexico to witness one of their own curled up in the corner like a ball of meat, the audience couldn’t hold back their appreciation for Griffin’s handiwork, raining applause from the rafters.
From somewhere in the clouds to sixty-nine feet above sea-level, ‘Pain’ intends on bruising the hopes of the Brazilian contingent. Moraes may not have finished his season of The Ultimate Fighter, TUF Brazil Season 1 with the trophy, but his ear-to-ear grin hopped off the screen and into the hearts of views; moreover, since the season’s conclusion, he’s reminded the UFC’s patrons of his presence by earning six out of seven wins under the brightest lights in MMA.
If it takes one-minute, or all fifteen, the end result for Griffin includes: turning the toothy smile of Moraes into a disappointed frown and the eerie Brazilian death chant, “Uh vai morrer” (You’re going to die) into favorable fanfare—with no translation needed.
As someone eliminated from TUF: Season 16, before even entering the tournament’s bracket, Griffin will happily fill the roll of spoiler for every 170-pound TUF cast member on his way to a world title.