Max Griffin might just have a case as one of the most underrated welterweights in the UFC. And perhaps one of the most talented fighters on the roster with a sub-.500 record as well. Griffin got his start in the promotion against Colby Covington, and has fought the likes of Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, Mike Perry, Thiago Alves, and others.
The Alves win, in particular, was something of a robbery that left a bad impression with many: a much-improved Griffin put on a solid show in Brazil, but a split decision was awarded to Alves in his own hometown.
At UFC 248 on Saturday, Griffin had another tough match-up with another Brazilian in Alex Oliveira. Brazil’s ‘Cowboy’ had lost three straight, however, and was badly in need of a win.
Griffin came in aggressive, rushing Oliveira. Oliveira landed a big right hand before clinching Griffin against the cage. Griffin jabbed his way out but Oliveira continued to put together nice shots moving forward. A big right hand landed for Griffin, forcing Oliveira to clinch up and pull guard. Griffin maintained top position for a while but didn’t do much with it. Oliveira managed to get to his feet with Griffin still in the back clinch. After a Griffin takedown, Oliveira escaped with a kimura attempt back to his feet.
The second round began with Oliveira controlling the center of the Octagon, busting Griffin open from his eyebrow. Oliveira then came in on a takedown attempt against the cage but Griffin was able to shove him away. The referee called a stop in the action to allow the doctor to examine Griffin’s cut. After a few seconds, the doctor gave Griffin the okay to continue. Oliveira continued to put together nice leg kicks, damaging Griffin’s front leg, before capitalizing with a big right hand. Oliveira went in on a takedown attempt against the cage but failed.
In the third round Oliveira was able to get the takedown and take full mount. Oliveira was landed some big shots from top mount, but a beautiful sweep from Griffin landed him on top in half guard. Griffin fires off as much ground-and-pound as he could as the fight ended.
Alex Oliveira def. Max Griffin via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)