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Tito Ortiz, Dana White Unhappy With Forrest Griffin's Postfight Antics

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- Strange outbursts from Forrest Griffin when he's unhappy after a fight are nothing new.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion abruptly left Joe Rogan's postfight interview after being finished by Keith Jardine at UFC 66. Griffin also bolted from the Octagon and ran out of the arena after losing to Anderson Silva at UFC 101 in Philadelphia.

Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, though, Griffin topped himself. He stormed out of the Octagon immediately after his bout with Tito Ortiz was finished, only to have Dana White chase him down and order him back to the cage. Then Griffin inexplicably began interviewing Ortiz after the bout.

Two hours later, at the post-fight press conference, Ortiz made it clear that has was unhappy that Griffin robbed him of one final interview with Rogan.

"I was [expletive]," Ortiz said. "I've been in this sport a lot longer. You have to understand, 15 years ago, May 3, 1997, Joe Rogan was the first person to interview me, and I told him, I'm going to make a mark in this sport. It was my first fight. I said, just you wait. I'm going to make my mark in this sport. I helped build this sport to be what it is to this day.

"For Forrest to step in and do what he did, after running?" Ortiz paused for awhile to let the words sink in. "I can't complain about anything, as I said, I wish Joe Rogan got to interview me."

As fate had it, Griffin, a late arrival for the press conference, strolled across the podium right as Ortiz delivered his rant. Griffin wasted no time unequivocally apologizing for his actions.

"I sincerely apologize, said Griffin. "I don't know what I was thinking. I sincerely apologize, I'm sorry."

UFC boss Dana White, who has seen both fighters through their various career ups and downs, didn't hold back with his thoughts on Griffin's antics. "He drives me crazy, this guy" White said. "It's professional suicide, the things that he does. People love Forrest Griffin, OK? So I ran after him. I don't have to tell you guys, everyone in this room knows exactly what I said. So he turned around, and he ran back into the ring.

"I saw him the back and I said, 'What are you doing, whats wrong with you, are you mental?' Next time you're depressed about winning the fight, go back in the back and be depressed."

When prompted, Griffin, who won the trilogy fight via unanimous decision, made an honest attempt to explain what was going through his head after the fight.

"I wasn't too pleased with my performance," Griffin said. "I put big emphasis on finishing, felt like I had an opportunity to finish it in a very close fight. I left it in judges' hands. With my takedown in the third, I thought I had opportunity to make it at least a more lopsided fight and I couldn't capitalize on that and I was frustrated."

White, though, wasn't buying it. "It's Tito's last fight," he said. "If Tito won his fight, stand there, get your hand raised or Tito's hand raised. If your plugging for Joe Rogan's [expletive] job, it isn't going to happen. Leave the microphone alone until Joe comes over and talks to you.

"I love Forrest Griffin, always have. He's a great guy but he gets a little kooky sometimes."