LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) announced today that they have signed Tyson Griffin to a 3-fight deal. This is a big signing for the RFA, as Griffin is one of the biggest name free agents in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Griffin made his professional MMA debut in November 2004 at the age of 20 and now has 21-fights to his credit with two-thirds of those fights coming inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Ten months after making his pro MMA debut and winning his first two fights in the first round, Griffin earned a Gladiator Challenge featherweight title shot against rising star Urijah Faber who was 8-0 at the time. Griffin would go on to win the fight 5-seconds into the third round via TKO to win the title. This fight stood as Faber’s only defeat in MMA for over 3 years and Faber is now one of the biggest stars in the sport.
Griffin would then win his next three fights, all in the first round, before signing with the emerging northern California based promotion Strikeforce in June 2006. That is where he defeated UFC and K-1 veteran Duane Ludwig via first round TKO. Ludwig was riding a 3-fight winning streak, which included the fastest KO in UFC history heading into his fight with the rapidly rising MMA prospect Griffin.
After defeating Ludwig and bringing his perfect record to 7-0, the world’s two biggest MMA promotions (at the time) PRIDE and the UFC began actively recruiting Griffin. Griffin decided to sign with the UFC, so he could continue fighting in the United States in front of friends and family.
Griffin won his UFC debut in September 2006 over David Lee in the first round, before losing the first fight of his career against eventual UFC champion Frankie Edgar in February 2007. That bout won "Fight of the Night" honors, which is an award that Griffin has won 5-times making him one of the most exciting fighters in the lightweight division.
Griffin won his next four fights after the Edgar fight, defeating the likes of Clay Guida, Thiago Tavares, Gleison Tibau, and Marcus Aurelio. The win streak brought his record to 12-1 and found Griffin knocking on the door of a potential title shot in late 2008. That is when he met former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk, who had just lost his title to B.J. Penn in his most recent bout. Griffin and Sherk would engage in a "Fight of the Night" award winning bout, which could have easily gone either way.
The judges that night gave Sherk the nod, but it did not slow down Griffin’s momentum. In 2009, he would go undefeated by defeating two Brazilians with black belts in jiu-jitsu: Rafael dos Anjos and Hermes Franca. This brought his record to an impressive 14-2 (7-2 in the UFC).
Unfortunately, 2010 was not as kind and Griffin ended up suffering consecutive losses for the first time in his stellar MMA career. He lost razor-close Split Decisions to Evan Dunham and Nik Lentz, as well as the first KO loss of his career at the hands of former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori "The Fireball Kid" Gomi.
In 2011, Griffin decided to return to the featherweight division for the first time in 6 years, after the UFC announced that they would be adding both the featherweight and bantamweight divisions. He won his first bout in the UFC featherweight division by Majority Decision over Manny Gamburyan in June of last year. However, he lost his next outing to Bart Palaszewski and was subsequently released by the promotion after compiling a 8-6 record for the UFC over the course of 5 years fighting for the promotion.
Since being released by the UFC last fall, Griffin has continued to train and help prepare his teammates at Xtreme Couture Las Vegas, Nevada. He is now ready to get back to his winning ways. Griffin is expected to return to the lightweight division and make his debut for the RFA in late summer or early fall.
Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) was founded in 2011 and includes a number of prominent businessmen, fight promoters, matchmakers, and others with successful careers in hosting Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) shows across the United States. To learn more, check out their website at www.RFAfighting.com.