And while Silva's cat-like reflexes were no doubt a considerable part of the equation, there was something else at play. On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, the former UFC light heavyweight champion revealed he took the anti-anxiety medication Xanax the night before the fight.
"I failed my drug test I think for Xanax," Griffin said. "I had a doctor's prescription, I was just, I didn't do it before the fight, I did it the night before, I was nervous and I couldn't sleep."
Griffin's test failure was not made public by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission after the Aug. 2009 event.
Asked why he never revealed this info, Griffin said "What's the point? Why add humiliation to a bad situation?"
The Las Vegas fighter remembers the bout as the low point of his career, but it also helped him put the fight life in perspective.
"Look what happened when I fought Anderson Silva," he said. "It can't possibly get worse than that. I've already seen the bottom and it wasn't that bad. I made it through. I survived. It's fighting. It's not the end of the world."