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UFC:

Griffin still same guy despite ‘cover boy’ status

Former light heavyweight champ prepared for August bout vs. Silva

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Justin M. Bowen

Forrest Griffin answers reporters questions during a press conference for UFC 92 on Tuesday, December 23, 2008.

Forrest Griffin is often a man of few words.

But surely the former UFC light heavyweight champ had some profound statement of reaching the pinnacle of his career when he was named cover boy for the UFC’s upcoming “Undisputed” video game.

“No, I don’t play video games,” said a straight-faced Griffin, in his typical laid-back, self-deprecating humor. “My little brother thinks it’s cool, so that’s important.”

Griffin expounded a little more in an interview last month when IGN.com showed him a copy of the game from publisher THQ that is set to release on all major consoles in May.

“That’s awesome, it actually looks like me if I were in a video game,” Griffin told IGN.com. “It looks like me, but meaner and with a little bit of a chest, so I’m stoked.”

Griffin said he got to play the game briefly against Quinton Jackson. Unlike his real fight with “Rampage,” the results weren’t the same, as he found himself on the losing end.

In his limited interaction with the game, Griffin said he thought gamers would “definitely” enjoy the action inside the virtual Octagon.

“You can do most of the moves we do, it’s pretty impressive. I think it would take a while to gain some sort of mastery of it,” he said.

Regardless of whether he takes to the controllers, just being placed on the game’s cover has made the University of Georgia grad’s life complete.

“I can die happy now,” Griffin said with a smile.

Not all of the Xtreme Couture standout’s down time since his December loss to Rashad Evans has come dealing with video games or life outside the gym.

“I’ve been hanging out a little bit, but I just got back into working out pretty good a couple of weeks ago,” Griffin said.

Indeed the 205-pounder has returned to his training regiment 100 percent after recovering from surgery on a left hand he injured against Evans.

“Got me a little plate and some screws," Griffin said during last week’s debut episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K." on Spike TV. "Just one more piece of metal in my collection."

The inaugural “TUF” winner also confirmed his next bout is against Thiago Silva (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) set for UFC 101 on Aug. 8 in Philadelphia.

“He’s tough and I think it’s gonna be a good fight,” Griffin said.

When asked if he was at all disappointed that he will miss out on the organization’s blowout event, UFC 100 in July, Griffin said, “he didn’t mind.”

Griffin said he’s only watched tape of his loss to Evans in passing, but doesn’t need a formal review to know what went wrong.

“I don’t think he was ever hurt,” said Griffin, who looked to be controlling the fight until the third round when Evans stunned Griffin with a big blow and then finished the bout by ground and pound.

Griffin shrugged off the setback, saying he’s going to stick to his training style and mental approach.

“I got beat, no excuses,” he said. “I’m just gonna work hard like always and try to get myself back to the top.”

Andy Samuelson can be reached at [email protected] or 702-948-7837.

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