Coming off four straight victories, Firmino doesn’t want to go the distance against the UFC veteran. The Blackzilians product feels in disadvantage even before the fight starts because Griffin is a popular fighter in Las Vegas and has a good relationship with the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC).
"I can’t let it go to the judges because he’s very popular in Las Vegas and I know the athletic commission wants him to win," Firmino told MMAFighting.com. "I feel like I’m already losing the fight the moment it starts because he has the crowd and the commission on his side, so I have to go for the finish all the time."
"Buscape’s" last loss came in a decision against UFC and WEC veteran John Alessio in 2011, again in Nevada, and he doesn’t feel he lost that fight.
"I beat him up for three rounds and they gave him the win. Even Alessio didn’t understand how he won the fight," he said. "You see this happen all the time. Ross Pearson just got robbed against Diego Sanchez in the UFC. (The judges) don’t care how much you worked hard for the fight, they just give the other guy the win."
Firmino needs a finish if he wants to avoid a decision, so he’s training with Gesias Cavalcante, the last man to beat Griffin. Cavalcante scored a third-round TKO victory over the UFC veteran in August, but "Buscape" wants a different ending.
"Tyson Griffin mixes up well just like me, but I will always go to the ground," he said. "I’m a jiu-jitsu guy so I will go for submissions, but my stand-up is really good. Thiago Silva helped me a lot in this camp, so did Guto Inocente. I’m really confident to stand against him and get another win."
"Tyson is a tough fighter," he continued. "We've known him for a long time. His last fight was against a friend of mine, Gesias, so we have a good gameplan set for this fight. I trained a lot with Gesias recently, he helped me a lot. I know it’s going to be a tough fight, for sure. He’s extremely tough, but I’m ready for everything. Ground game, stand-up war, anything he brings.
Firmino has one fight left in his contract after WSOF 10, and he wants to boost his win streak to six to earn a chance in the UFC.
"I want to be among the top. That’s my goal," he said. "I fought at PRIDE and my dream is to fight in the UFC as well. I’m going after this. Right now I’m only focused at WSOF because I have a contract with them, but my goal is to go to the UFC and fight against the best."