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Max Griffin reacts after the conclusion of his welterweight fight against Carlos Condit during the UFC 264 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Max Griffin: ‘I Learned To Be More Primal’

Welterweight Max Griffin Is Prepared To Throw Caution To The Wind Against Jeremiah Wells At UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Pyfer in Las Vegas

UFC welterweight Max Griffin, who made his debut eight years ago against former title challenger Colby Covington, is now one of the most experienced fighters in the 170-pound division.

Griffin has fought 15 times in the Octagon, competing against the likes of Neil Magny, Carlos Condit and Mike Perry. But after his last fight – a unanimous decision loss against Michael Morales in July – Griffin realized he was so caught up on the small details he’s learned over the years that it was negatively affecting his performance. Griffin’s coach agrees, and often tells him he’s too smart for his own good.

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“I’ve been fighting for 17 years, and when you get a lot of experience, that could be a detriment,” Griffin said. “I remember when I was an amateur, I would go in there and not give a care in the world and just slang ‘em. In the second round, [Morales] made some adjustments and put me in positions we didn’t want to be in. When you overextend, he was knocking these guys out, so I was cautious… I learned to be more primal, more bite down on your mouthpiece, screw the gameplan [and] slang ‘em.”

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Having won four of his previous five fights, the loss to Morales was a bitter pill to swallow, at least at first. The next day, Griffin received a message from David Goggins, a former U.S. Navy Seal who’s gone viral on social media for his motivational speeches and various athletic feats.

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“I was sad,” Griffin said reflecting on his loss to Morales. “That was the first fight I actually lost in a while. I lost, I’ll admit it. And it hurt; I was kind of down, but David Goggins sent me a message on my Instagram like, ‘Yo, you’re a beast, you’re a dog, I’ve seen you in there. It’s about how you fight, not just about the win.’”

Twenty minutes after reading that message, Griffin put his running shoes on and went to work. That was seven months ago, and he didn’t stop training until he arrived for fight week ahead of his upcoming clash with Jeremiah Wells at UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Pyfer on Saturday, February 10.

Max Griffin poses for a portrait in the UFC Apex Octagon in Las Vegas, October 2022 (Photo by Kaylie Foster/Zuffa LLC)
Max Griffin poses for a portrait in the UFC Apex Octagon in Las Vegas, October 2022 (Photo by Kaylie Foster/Zuffa LLC)

Over the last seven months, in addition to his usual fight camp process, Griffin made it a weekly routine to partake in grueling wrestling sessions alongside No. 14 ranked middleweight contender Anthony Hernandez, who is scheduled to face Roman Kopylov at UFC 298 later this month. Griffin now feels like an entirely different fighter than the one who fought Morales in July.

“I’m changing, I’m getting better…I’m nasty,” Griffin said. “I can’t wait to do my thing and put a stamp on this. This is like my debut again. I can’t wait.”


Now in a more “primal” frame of mind, Griffin can’t wait for his matchup with Wells, who he believes will try to come forward and be the aggressive fighter. And if he does, Griffin will be there to meet him head on.

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“There’s a lot of things that excite me about this,” Griffin said of his matchup with Jeremiah Wells. “I’ve seen him fight, I’ve seen him knock guys out and submit guys. He’s like a little bulldog. I like it, though, because he’s not going to run. I mean, he might, but he’s aggressive, he wants to bring it. He’s hella aggressive. He’s got to come to me, man. He’s going to try to grab, he’s going to try to wrestle. He’s wild, which I like, but I’m calculated. I’ve been wrestling for a long time and they’re going to see that… I will win viciously.

“There’s a quote they say, ‘The war is won far before the battle.’ I’ve put in so much work, the most in my life, and I’ve done all the right things. Saturday will be the culmination of everything I’ve done my whole career.”

UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Pyfer took place live from UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 10, 2024. See the Final Main Card & Prelim Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!