UFC Columbus’ Max Griffin Looks for Early KO of Magny, Masvidal Call-out

Max Griffin UFC 264
Max Griffin, UFC 264 official weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

After starting his UFC career at 3-6, pundits weren’t particularly high on Max Griffin, but the Sacramento-native always believed he was just a step behind where he needed to be to challenge the best in the world. After mixing up his training camp, adding work with Team Alpha Male to go with his original Team MMA Gold and various other locales for training, Griffin also added a mental coach. The result of the changes – a three-fight winning streak capped off by a victory over former interim champion Carlos Condit.

Having completely changed his fortunes, Griffin has a fight booked this weekend with Neil Magny, the #9 ranked welterweight in the world. That fact, even he wasn’t ready for.

“Man, I was so excited. I originally asked for #15, #14 or #13 – I think I said [Santiago] Ponzinibbio, Geoff Neal, or Li Jingliang,” Griffin admitted. “I wanted those guys, or maybe someone just outside of the top 15.”

While he was trying to keep his expectations a tad lower, the UFC brass saw his willingness to fight some of the most dangerous guys in the division and loved it. As a result, he was rewarded with a big fight.

“Sean Shelby was really excited that I asked for those guys. ‘So you want to fight Geoff Neal and Santiago Ponzinibbio?’ Yeah! Sh*t, let’s go,” he recalled. “I was in the bathroom the next morning and got the text – yo, Neil Magny, number [nine], Columbus Ohio. So ecstatic, man. It’s my time. It’s my time.”

Griffin feels this is a fight that favors him. While Magny has been tough to beat on the feet, Griffin doesn’t think that Magny is going to be able to trade with him. In fact, he also thinks Magny knows that, or at least ought to.

“He better try to wrestle me,” Griffin said with a laugh. “He’s going to have to, or it’s going to be a quick one.”

If that prediction is correct, Griffin will be on one hell of a run. He’ll be on a four-fight winning streak with a top 10 victory under his belt. That’s not a recent resume that too many people in the division can boast. So what’s next is that comes to fruition?

“Man, I want top five [next]. I think [Jorge] Masvidal is number 7, so I’d like to get that fight before he retires or anything like that,” he said. “But really all these guys. I’ve been waiting to be in the top 10 my whole life, so now that I’m about to be in it, I want everybody. You can line them all up.”

You can catch Max Griffin trying to make his predicitions into a reality at UFC Columbus this Saturday. That fight airs on ESPN+ prelims, which start at 4pm EST.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 2:05.