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Monday, 07/22/2013, 01:17 pm

EXCLUSIVE | Tyson Griffin Discusses Upcoming WSOF Debut Against JZ Cavalcante & More | Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio

By JAKE CHASTAIN

The boys in the barbershop are at it again and this week they hosted a spectacular show that featured one of the sports longtime recognizable names, Tyson Griffin. Tyson is currently set to make his World Series of Fighting (WSOF) debut against Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante. Tyson Griffin kicked off the show talking about his career and the new multi-fight deal he just signed with the WSOF. Tyson is a veteran in the game with wins over some of the best in the sport and was kind enough to share some of his time with all the fans here at BJPenn.com and Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio. Griffin talked about getting ready for this fight against Cavalcante, signing with the WSOF, the early days of his career, his move from Xtreme Couture to AKA in San Jose, and what his future goals in the sport are. Here are some of the highlights from Tyson Griffin’s interview with BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio:

The interview kicked off with Griffin explaining how things have been leading up to his WSOF debut on August 10th.

“Things are good, just getting my body ready to peak here in a few weeks and starting to pick up camp super hard. It’s the hard time of camp, the workload is real heavy, just trying to grind through it, keep the body healthy, keep the mind right and, you know, peak on fight night.”

Tyson, who has been fighting for 10+ years in MMA, then commented on how training changes over the years and how he has adapted to the evolution of MMA to better suit him for the future:

“As you get older you really have to focus on training smarter, not harder because your body doesn’t bounce back as fast and things like that. So, you just learn. You learn what’s quality for your workouts, what’s quality to help you be a better fighter on fight night, and not just necessarily what you want to do each day in the gym because at the end of the day the things that you don’t want to do are usually good for you so you have to kind of push yourself to do all those things that you don’t want to do.”

He was also asked to talk about how things have changed for him since leaving his longtime training home of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and how he is adjusting to his new camp at AKA in San Jose, California:

“Being at AKA I’m kind of one of the guys with the least number of fights so I kind of still need some of the advice from those guys that have been doing it a little longer than me,” he explained. “As soon as you think you know it all you kind of stop learning. I can honestly say that kind of happened to me out at Xtreme Couture.”

 “You have to keep learning, you keep evolving because the sport is changing, the sport is growing, the level of athletes is changing,” he continued. “The landscape of the sport has changed so much that you have to constantly learn, evolve and change your game up a little bit.”

Griffin then talked about how he compares himself to many other veterans of the sport and how fighting at the top level of MMA for the majority of his career was a blessing and a curse:

“I’ve never even had an armature fight,” he said. “Almost all my fights are in front of everybody, so everybody has seen my learning curve and seen me take the lumps and bumps and everything that comes with the sport; it’s been in front of everybody in the big show.”

Griffin has learned from those high-profile fights and has also learned, over his already long career in the sport, how to keep the competition fun and interesting for himself:

“I think I just kind of let it become a job and I kind of got stuck in that rut of ‘I’m gonna only train for my camps because it’s so damn hard that I want to take a break in between fights,’ so I think that kind of hurt me in the sense that I wasn’t having fun,” he explained. “I think it was definitely important for me to have that learning curve and deal with those losses and learn that I have to enjoy what I’m doing.”

Tyson was also asked how he feels about being criticized for not having many finishes in the latter part of his ongoing career. He said that it didn’t bother him at all and explained, “Most of my fights in the UFC I was trying to finish, I was going balls-to-the-wall and that’s why I ended up getting those Fight of the Nights.”

Griffin has always been an exciting fighter and his past credentials prove that he is a skilled ocmetitor and a dangerous fight for any opponent, including his upcoming foe at WSOF 4, JZ Cavalcante. Tyson was then asked how he felt about the upcoming fight with JZ:

“I feel great about it,” Griffin stated. “That challenge of competing against the best is what I love and what really pushes me to bring out the best in me.”

“He has a ton of talent in every aspect of the game and I can’t wait to beat him at it.”

Tyson has also been well known for doing some generous work outside the cage as well and the boys in shop asked him to comment on some of the work he did for the troubled and needy youth while he was in Las Vegas and how his past brought him to do such charity work.

“Growing up I didn’t have the perfect family life,” he replied. “I wanted to help give back to an organization that did something that I liked.”

Griffin was previously signed with RFA as a part of their organization but then was let go from his contract and signed with the larger promotion at WSOF. Griffin broke down the situation and explained that RFA admitted that they didn’t have the funds or the competition to keep Griffin consistently active so they were kind enough to let him go and sign with WSOF, who was more well equipped to play home to the well-known lightweight.

“It really just came down to what RFA had in mind for the organization,” Griffin explained. He continued explaining that getting a contract with WSOF was not difficult either, as he personally knows the President of the promotion, Ray Sefo:

“I made a phone call and they put the contract together.”

If only everything in life was that simple…

The focus of the conversation then shifted back to Griffin’s upcoming fight and what he wants out of the rest of his career. He touched on a title run but explained that it was not his only goal in fighting for WSOF.

“I just want to compete against tough competition and competing against tough competition will end up leading to the belt. I don’t want to just fight for the belt but at the end of the day being champion is what it’s all about,” Griffin explained, “to me it’s all about competition.”

And finally, when asked if moving away from the UFC and fighting for a lesser-known organization bothered him at all he quickly replied, “I never really got into this sport for the attention or the notoriety or anything like that.”

Words of a true fighter.

We would like to thank Tyson Griffin for joining BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio show and we wish him the best of luck in his upcoming bout with JZ Cavalcante on August 10th at WSOF 4.

To listen to the entire interview with Tyson Griffin on Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio click here 

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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