Forrest Griffin has fought his last bout as a mixed martial artist.
UFC President Dana White announced the former light heavyweight champion’s retirement from active competition on Saturday night following UFC 160 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, revealing that Griffin will remain with the company in a front-office role, a la Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes.
“Forrest Griffin has been a huge star for us,” White said. “Anytime we’ve ever needed Forrest Griffin, he’s been there for us. He will stay with this company at least for the rest of my life.”
Griffin began his pro career in 2001, debuting with a loss to future UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn. The Georgian won nine of his next 10 before joining the cast of “The Ultimate Fighter,” winning the show’s inaugural season by topping Stephan Bonnar in a highly publicized barnburner on live TV in 2005.
The light heavyweight then won five of his next seven bouts, capping that stretch with an upset of Pride Fighting Championships standout Mauricio Rua and then outpointing Quinton Jackson to win the UFC title in 2008. Griffin would lose the belt in his first defense, however, as he was knocked out by Rashad Evans at UFC 92.
More recently, Griffin has been plagued by injuries, withdrawing from a planned meeting with Phil Davis this past December due to a torn MCL. The former champion exits the Octagon having won three of his last four fights, most recently outpointing Tito Ortiz in their rubber match last July at UFC 148.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that when Dana White says retire, you should retire. Two of my last three fights, I’ve pulled out due to injury. If you think about it, how many fights can you pull out of before you become an unsecure product?” Griffin asked. “The UFC does a lot of charity stuff locally and for the troops. I’ve always said that I’m going to volunteer, but I’ve always had to train for [a] fight, so I [said I would] do it later. Well, now is later.”