Chad Griggs knows that Strikeforce
officials didn't sign him to a contract because they were dying to be in the Chad Griggs
business. Not at first, anyway.
Offering him a fight with a well-paid prospect like Bobby Lashley
last summer was Strikeforce's way of giving him a lottery ticket. No one expected his numbers to hit the way they did, which might explain why the organization still seems unsure of what to do with him.
"That's the joke for us," Griggs told MMA Fighting
after his win over Valentijn Overeem
at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum
on Saturday night. "Every time I walk in it's like, hey, you can't get rid of me. I won't go away."
With the first-round stoppage of Overeem, Griggs won his third straight Strikeforce bout, and his second in a row as a Grand Prix alternate. The win also made some people look at the other victorious heavyweight alternate from Saturday's event -- former U.S. Olympic wrestling team captain, Daniel Cormier
-- and wonder whether Strikeforce should throw those two in the cage together next just to see who's still standing when it's over.
Cormier -- who was originally slated to face Shane del Rosario
in a Grand Prix reserve bout before del Rosario was injured in a car accident -- dominated MMA vet Jeff Monson
for three rounds on Saturday night, showing off some impressive striking in the process.
But while it was a nice win for his still young career, Cormier doesn't necessarily think it makes him the clear reserve choice for the tournament just yet. Not as long as Griggs keeps winning his reserve fights as well.
"Right now I think you match up me and Chad or me and Shane, because in reality there's no clear reserve," Cormier said. "Who goes into the tournament right now if someone gets hurt? How do you choose? You've got three guys going into this, so match two of us up and have us fight whenever the semifinals are. I'd like to fight Chad or Shane to find out who's the reserve in this tournament. I think it makes sense."
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said a Griggs-Cormier fight on the semifinal card this fall was a real possibility, but added "we just finished an event, so we haven't had a chance to sit down and talk about it yet."
Still, Coker admitted that he wouldn't mind seeing a fight between the two heavyweights, both of whom have put on exciting performances of late.
Even Cormier's coach -- AKA's Javier Mendez -- likes the idea.
"I think the rightful thing is to have [Cormier] fight Chad Griggs," Mendez said. "He's another alternate, so that's a logical next step. But I don't know what Strikeforce is going to do. We just have to get Daniel ready for the next step."
As for Griggs, he said he hasn't said no to any of Strikeforce's suggestions yet and it isn't about to start now. Besides, after stopping Gian Villante
in a wild brawl and then punishing Overeem in a first-round TKO win, hasn't he earned a fight like this by now?
"I feel like I've fought two good fights and they were both alternates," Griggs shrugged. "I had two good performances and stopped my guy in the first round in both of them, so we'll see how it goes."
A fight between Griggs and Cormier could not only solidify an established reserve for the Grand Prix, it would also be a nice addition to any Strikeforce fight card now that fans have seen enough of both men to know what they have to offer.
For Griggs, however, going up against a highly-touted former Olympian might seem like just one more bout where he's not supposed to get his hand raised at the end. Not that those kinds of expectations matter much to him, of course.
"I still feel like they're looking at me going, this guy got lucky again," Griggs said. "But hey, I'll take it. Maybe I'll just keep being lucky."