Chad “The Grave Digger” Griggs (10-1) shocked the MMA world last August when he beat then undefeated Bobby Lashley (5-1) at “Strikeforce: Houston”. Since then, Griggs has gone on to defeat Gian Villante (7-2) at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva”, and Lashley has an upcoming fight against James Jack (6-2-1) at Titan Fighting Championship 17 on March 25.
In a ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) exclusive interview with Lashley earlier this week, the former WWE star revealed he still was not happy about Griggs handing him his first loss, nor the way Griggs carried himself afterward. Lashley said:
“After that fight I knew the problems. I think I lost the match. I didn’t get beat. If you watch the match I mean I completely controlled and had completely taken care of this guy and he runs around like he just won the world title, throwing his hands up and how he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. B.S. I think he’s garbage. I take that back. I’m a little upset about that but I think it was just garbage, the whole situation was garbage. Since then I mean I’ve been going through a lot of stuff because I had a bit of mono so I was having to get that out of my system and rehab my body so that I feel a lot better.”
ProMMAnow.com’s (www.prommanow.com) Josh Cross caught up with Chad Griggs this week to see what he thought about Lashley’s comments, why he thinks Lashley is still angry, what happened when he tried to approach Lashley after the fight and when he is hoping to get back in the cage.
PRO MMA NOW: Do you think that Lashley had “completely taken care” of you during the fight?
CHAD GRIGGS: Well I think common sense and the obvious is no. (Laughs) I mean he lost the fight. He got pounded and he couldn’t go on. Anybody that loses can look back and go, ‘I lost the fight, I should have done this, I should have done that.’ So I guess in that aspect he’s right. Did he control the fight in the first half of the three, five-minute rounds? Yeah, I would say that he did. Was our game plan to wear him out? It absolutely was. We knew that he was a phenomenal wrestler and a great athlete. We worked a lot on making him pay when he takes us down and making it work when we are down and wearing him out. Our whole game plan we were counting on him gassing out and the second half of the fight be in our game and having the energy to outlast him and then beat him up, and that’s what happened. I know he is sore about it and obviously it has cost him a ton of money and a lot of bad publicity but our game plan was just that. He carries a lot of weight and a lot of muscle mass and he worked really hard that first round and a half. We caught him with a good knee to the solar plexus that hurt him and we caught him with an uppercut that made him bleed and make him realize that he was in a real fight. When he got us down he had to work. He didn’t hurt me. I was able to stay out of trouble with his big punches and that last shot he was gassed and was able to sprawl out and finish him. If he would have gone into the third round I think it would have been nothing but trouble for him. He was done. He was tired and that’s what we were counting on. That was our whole game plan. So I guess it just depends on how he looks at it as if he lost the fight or not but either way he lost the fight. He’s the one who got cut open and he’s the one who got his head banged on a couple of times. However he wants to look at it is ok with me. I walked away with the w.
PRO MMA NOW: In the fight was there any point that you thought that he might have had you beat?
CHAD GRIGGS: There is no question that I made some mistakes in the fight. I should never have let him mount me. A couple of my escapes I kind of half-assed them and didn’t get back to my feet where I should have and should have been able to. When he did have me mounted he was already gassed. He was so tired. I was definitely not in trouble towards the end. I mean obviously the ref stood us up because he wasn’t doing anything and then when he told him to get up he sat on me for another couple of seconds. Then he pointed to his eye and walked over and was trying to get some more time to breathe and was trying to stall a little bit. (Laughs) I don’t know. When I cut him with the uppercut is the turning point where I saw his mentality changed and he realized that he was in a real fight and that he might be in trouble.
PRO MMA NOW: Any idea why you think that Lashley thinks that whole situation was ‘garbage?’
CHAD GRIGGS: (Laughs) Well I mean no one likes to lose. I think that Bobby is a great athlete. I think that he has huge potential and he is a big draw. I have tried after the fight to go up to him and thank him and he wouldn’t look at me. He just blew me off and I’ve made a couple of attempts to be a good sport and try to I guess be cordial with him and yeah. He’s made a lot of excuses and talked and said I’m crap. I don’t know, what does that make him? (Laughs) I’m not much of a trash talker but I’ve got to say it does offend me a little bit that he has been such a poor sport. As for being excited after the win, absolutely. I think people had me at one time favored 8-1. People didn’t know who I was and I was excited you know. It was a big fight. It was a big fight for him obviously. It cost him a lot of money to lose and really dropped him down. I’m sure he didn’t like to see me celebrating but watch his fights. Watch when he wins against I think it was Bob Sapp or something, [he was] running around and jumping up on the cage and sitting on the cage throwing his arms around. What is that then? Sometimes I feel like he’s a hypocrite. He’s being hypocritical at times. I don’t want to call names but I’m just calling it the way it is. I think he has done the same thing after fights. I’m trying to be a good sport about it. I absolutely think that he’s got potential and is a great athlete but all the excuses beforehand… He was saying he was 100 percent. He was saying he was going to smash me. For someone with severe sickness and dehydration, that first seven or eight minutes he was pretty explosive, pretty strong and pretty energetic. It’s just he spent his energy in the wrong way and his conditioning wasn’t up to par. He can say whatever he wants. Obviously he’s got to try and come up with something to create the reason of why he lost and to build himself back up. Everybody has got to sell themselves.
PRO MMA NOW: Are you open to ever fighting Bobby Lashley again?
CHAD GRIGGS: Yeah. I’d like to see him go and get a couple more fights and do well. Then I would fight him again. Sure, if the money was right. I’m trying to build my popularity and get paid a little bit better. It’s really sad and pathetic to look at what I got paid compared to what he got paid to lose to me. I would hope to get paid a little more next time but yeah I definitely would look into that.
PRO MMA NOW: Can you give us an update on what you have been up to since your win earlier this month at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva, and if you have any information about your next fight?
CHAD GRIGGS: Last week I just did some conditioning stuff. Stretched out and got some cardio workouts. Yesterday was the first day I went back into grappling and moving around and tomorrow we are going to do some light sparring. So I’m jumping right back into it. I’m not going to go crazy and hit it hard but I’m going to stay in shape, stay tuned up, try work on some things and just be ready for when they call. As for who is next, I’m not sure yet. I’m just kind of waiting and seeing. There is some speculation of who it might be but I’m not going to say anything until Strikeforce calls me up and gives me the name. As of right now I’m just trying to stay in shape and be ready for the call.
PRO MMA NOW: Is there any specific time frame for when you are hoping to have your next fight take place?
CHAD GRIGGS: It sounds like they are pushing the second half of the heavyweight tournament back a little bit, so I wouldn’t mind being back on that one again. Being scheduled to fight somebody on that card just like we did before with this card. It looks like that might get pushed back a month or two so I don’t know. Maybe we can get back on that one. Three or four months is what I would like to see. I really don’t want to go six months again like last time.