UFC Vegas 22’s Max Griffin is All Ears… Almost Literally

Max Griffin UFC
Max Griffin (left) Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

In his last fight, Max Griffin put together one of his best performances during his stint in the UFC. He went out and battered Ramiz Brahimaj until he picked up a TKO in one of the oddest fashions possible — an ear explosion.

Griffin credits a lot of that performance to his mental coach and getting him in a place to have fun with his art. After doing that last time out, he’s letting that fun ride on.

“A lot of it was having fun being authentic. I’m a fun guy. I’m a jovial guy. So I was able to go do that and, in the process of that, I not only whooped the shit out of the guy, but I knocked his ear off at the end and had one of the most grotesque finishes in UFC history,” Griffin said proudly. “I’m the ear-man and I’m riding the wave”

While he is riding the wave of attention that he got from the exploding ear finish, not everybody was on board with the jokes, and subsequent branding that came from the ordeal. Most notably, an important member of his family wasn’t happy.

“My mom was upset in the beginning about it,” Max laughed. “She was like ‘Max, it’s not funny’. I’m like ‘mom, I’m not laughing, but you know it’s viral.”

After showing her that he could capitalize on it and pointing out that it could’ve been him on the other end, his mom softened her stance. With her feeling better about it, he’s gone all out in embracing the ‘ear guy’ persona.

“Now I got an ear tattoo on my arm and I’m known as the ear collector,” he said. “On my arm I have a samurai and he has a sword sticking up. I actually put it skewered on the samurai sword. It’s perfect. It’s beautiful.”

Although Griffin hates getting tattoos, he said getting the tiny ear on top of the sword was enjoyable for him.

But it isn’t just Griffin who’s bring the ear to the forefront, it’s others as well. From teammates to fans to sponsors, everybody is looking to get some Griffin ear merch.

“I’m passing out ears and signing ears. It’s part of the game,” he joked, bringing up that his friend Chris Lane from Team Alpha Male had him sign some things. “He brought me an ear necklace from The Walking Dead, so I signed a bunch of those.”

After a friend starting that trend, a sponsor got into the ear game as well, and there couldn’t be a more ‘fitting’ company.

“I’m signed with a new company called Knockdown Earbuds — they’re actually earbuds for people with cauliflower ear,” he said, explaining how they have you mold the pieces specifically for your damaged ear. “We co-branded and in my merch bundle you get an ear. You know those stress balls you squeeze. We have stress ears, so I got my logo on those, has their logo on it, and I’ve been signing those.”

While it’s unlikely that Griffin will get a moment that is as viral as that again, he is looking forward to getting back in and looking for his second straight finish. The Ear-Man will face off with Kenan Song as part of the main card of UFC Vegas 22 on ESPN.