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UFC 103:

Bonus machine Tyson Griffin not worried about cash award in bout with Hermes Franca



Tyson Griffin, right, proved he could fight against UFC’s elite in this April 1 bout against Sean Sherk in Nashville. The lightweight proved he could endure pain as well. On Saturday, he takes on Hermes Franca at UFC 103 in Dallas.

UFC 103: Prepare for the Unexpected

Local fighters Frank Trigg and Martin Kampmann talk about their upcoming fights at UFC 103. Trigg returns to the Octagon to face Josh Koscheck, while Kampmann fights Paul Daly.

UFC 103

  • What: UFC’s first show in Dallas, Texas
  • Main Event: Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort; co-main event: Junior Dos Santos vs. Mirko Crop Cop
  • When: Saturday; broadcast begins at 5 p.m. PT
  • Where: American Airlines Center
  • On TV: Pay-per-view (Broadcast begins at 7 PT/Prelims airing live on Spike TV Cox Cable Ch. 29)

For the first time he can remember, Tyson Griffin wasn’t immediately back in the Octagon after his win over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 18 in

April. Instead the Xtreme Couture fighter was soaking in the sun on his boat at Lake Mead.

“I’m a simple guy. I like the outdoors. I did some fishing at Lake Mead, camping, stuff like that. I didn’t do anything to crazy with my time off,” said the 25-year-old Griffin.

But after a near sixth-month layoff, which included getting his knee scoped, the Sacramento native is ready to resume where he left off in the ultra-competitive lightweight division Saturday when he takes on Hermes Franca at UFC 103 in Dallas.

“Usually I’m on the phone right away, usually a week later asking (UFC officials) about a fight, but this time I decided to take my time and heal up,” said Griffin, who sports an overall mixed martial arts record of 13-2.

“But the more you’re out of the gym, the more you want be back in there training. I’m definitely ready to get back in there.”

And why not, lately Griffin has turned himself into his own cash cow with his exciting displays inside the Octagon.

In five of his eight UFC bouts, Griffin has been awarded anywhere from $30,000 to $65,000 in Fight of the Night bonuses.

“I definitely pride myself on being an entertaining fighter. But I don’t make a point to put on an entertaining fight or make sure it goes the distance,” Griffin says with a laugh. “I guess it just happens to be my style of fighting and the matchups the UFC has put together. “The extra money sure doesn’t hurt.”

But then again with the plans Griffin envisions for himself in the 155-pound division, the extra chunk of change in his pocket is just the beginning.

“The level of competition in this division is just crazy. You got tons and tons of guys out there beating up on each other. It’s really a who’s who list,” Griffin said. “I’ve been given opportunities like Hermes Franca and Sean Sherk, and I got to make the best of them.

“I fell kind of short against Sean Sherk, but I’m looking to dominate Hermes and keep climbing the ladder.”

That will be quite the task, as the veteran Franca is looking for a positive return after a year off due to a knee injury and positive steroid test.

“He stays really relaxed during fights. He doesn’t panic or really try to rush things. But at the same time he has heavy hands and finishing power and a good submission game,” said Griffin of Franca, who shares common losses as

himself in setbacks to Sherk and Frankie Edgar. “You got to be sharp for 15 minutes.”

But as the Fight of the Night awards in Griffin’s possession attest, going the distance hasn’t been a problem.

“The money is great, but I sure wouldn’t mind a quick win either,” Griffin said.

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