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Pre-'Ultimate Fighter': See Forrest Griffin Beat Chael Sonnen, Steve Sayegh, Edson Paredao

UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin entered the consciousness of most mixed martial arts fans when he appeared on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and beat Stephan Bonnar in the finale in one of the most significant fights in MMA history. But Griffin was a fighter before TUF, and today I came across some good videos of Griffin in the old days. First up, Griffin vs. Chael Sonnen in September 2003:

Sonnen has turned out to be a very good fighter himself -- he'll fight Paulo Filho for the WEC middleweight belt in November -- but Griffin got the better of him with a triangle choke in the first round.

After the jump, see videos of Griffin beating Steve Sayegh and Edson Paredao.
Forrest Griffin vs. Steve Sayegh, December 15, 2002:

Griffin unleashed a ground-and-pound assault that forced Sayegh to tap out in the first round, then showed good sportsmanship in helping Sayegh up and giving him a hug afterward.

Forrest Griffin vs. Edson Paredao, December 18, 2003:

Griffin knocked Paredao out with a first-round punch and, again, immediately checked on his fallen opponent afterward. Griffin has come a long way in the last five years, but all the traits that make him a champion and a fan favorite were apparent even before The Ultimate Fighter.