Max Griffin didn’t exactly have the best time in Fortaleza, Brazil. Despite nearly finishing Thiago Alves when the bell sounded in the first and spending large portions of the third round in top control, the judges saw the UFC Fight Night 144 bout in favor of Alves, who just so happens to be from Fortaleza.
While there is a stigma about Brazilian judges giving decisions to hometown favorites, Griffin didn’t even think there was a chance they could take it away from him. In fact, he thought the fight was such a blow out that it was a done deal. According to Griffin, he isn’t the only one who thought that either.
“I spoke to everyone in the UFC, [Thiago Alves], I spoke to him, his coach,” Griffin said. “Everyone agrees I won.”
In the midst of watching the other fights together in the green room — which they did while rooting for other fights to be boring so they could win Fight of the Night — Alves shared with Griffin his thoughts on the fight, which were simple.
“I talked to Alves,” Griffin said. “He didn’t feel like he did enough to win.”
Alves’ coach, Mike Brown, was a little more reserved in the way that he phrased things, but Griffin got the same impression there as well.
“Mike Brown said, 'We gotta watch that tape,'” Griffin said. “He doesn’t think they did the job.”
While the loss is disheartening, Griffin was relieved when the UFC matchmakers saw it his way.
“Mick Maynard told me [I won], I talked to Sean Shelby too,” he said. “For them to tell me I won... that’s reassuring to me. They don’t look at it as a loss for me.”
Knowing that his career can continue in a positive direction put Griffin’s mind as ease, but it still doesn’t completely erase the mistake of the judges — especially not in his wallet.
“I wish I got my win money," Griffin said. "It’s my career, you know? If I’m not getting my win money when I did win, it’s tough. On top of that, they didn’t do a Fight of the Night bonus, which they always do.”
Short $70,000 from what he feels he deserves, Griffin does see some positives in the performance. He feels he looked good and showcased what he can do.
“It’s not a close fight,” Griffin said. “I feel it’s the best I’ve looked.”
Griffin now looks to catch a short-notice replacement to make up for lost time. However, don’t expect that to be anywhere outside the U.S.