Tony Reid – You are coming off an impressive win over Mike Perry in his backyard at UFC Orlando. What are your thoughts on the environment, the experience and the result of the scrap?
Max Griffin – “It was wonderful. I knew I could do it. I knew I had a lot of doubters the whole time. I believed in myself and a lot of people that know me know what I can do saw the same result coming. It’s good to finally be a full time fighter. I was so relaxed. Everything felt slow in there. All these other fights felt so fast. There is a lot of stress but this fight was alto different. I didn’t have that anger. It was just slow.”
TR – We hear that from great athletes in other sports like Jordan, Rice, Gretzky and others, who say the game slowed down for them. The greats see the game slower and take things to the next level. Is that what’s happened to you?
MG – “Yeah, man. My coaches always tell me to have fun out there. I am like, yeah, right, this guy is trying to kick my ass. This time I believed it and I did it. I remember Kobe Bryant came to take to us at the retreat last year. He mentioned that the game slowed down for him and that when he started balling out.”
TR – In this fight you go to him early, you cut him up and controlled distance on the feet. You out struck him. You put him down a few times. How did you feel as the fight played out in your favor?
MG – “I really just started working my game plan. I busted him up. I was moving around. I looked at it like a matador. He’s a bull. You know what he’s going to do. He’s so predictable. I was just moving around and busted him up when I could. I tried to finish him. It was a great fight. I really got to use my speed in there. It just stated coming together. It’s great to be able to know what to do in there. I cut him with the first punch. I went from there. He looked like hamburger. He was so busted up and bloody. I was talking to him in there. I remember I broke his nose with a jab. I felt his nose explode on my fist. It was smashed to the side. I think I just smiled at him after that. But really, this fight was so different. I saw the shots. I landed them. I got out of the way. I did exactly what I wanted to do. I felt it was good to beat that kind of guy like that. He hasn’t been beat like that.”
TR – In your Facebook live video you said you saw him on the bus back after the fight. He said you beat his ass and your response was pretty much. How did that ride play out?
MG – “He said ‘You whooped my ass.’ I was like ‘Yeah.’ The funny thing was right after that was when Colby Covington tweeted about his girlfriend, when she was on the bus. She kind of freaked out. She was yelling ‘Did you see what Colby said?’ She was making a scene. It was funny.”
TR – You are known for fighting in enemy territory. You fought opponents in their hometowns in Brazil, Mexico and now Florida. Are you looking to get a home fight or are you OK going on the road and playing spoiler?
MG – “I know, man. It’s just my M.O. If they want me to go beat up someone else in their city I will. It seems like the pattern. I am a hired thug. I’m a hired assassin. It’s crazy. It works, though. It’s hard to go to these places. A lot of guys don’t want to take these fights. I love it. I have always, always fought the toughest guy. My coaches take me to Oregon and I fight the best guy. They take me to Reno and fight the best guy. My coaches take me somewhere and want to know who the best guy is. They always wanted me to fight the best guy. It was a blessing in disguise fighting all these tough guys as an amateur and early on. I fell blessed that I was able to go in there and get the job done. That’s what it’s all about.”
TR – In the post-fight interview you said you love Orlando but Orlando didn’t love you back. How where the days in the state after the fight?
MG – “We were having a good time. It was great. We went out after the fight. We went to a club and got it popping. It was fun. They loved him there. I didn’t think they liked him that much. I didn’t like him. You either love him or you hate him. I was surprised by how many people supported him.”
TR – After many years, you are now officially a full time fighter. How great does that feel?
MG – “To be able to quit my job and go all in, it’s risky to throw away my 401(k) job. I don’t need to fight. I make money. To give that up to fight is crazy to some people. I am in this position that I made enough money from my bonus to put that forward. It just feels so right. I could have got beat by Perry. It was the last fight on my contract. Go be able to go all in and smash that fool like that on the last fight of my contract is good. Its good momentum for me and good negotiating power. I want to fight. I think I can put on a show and I think people want to see me fight.”