Max ‘Pain’ Griffin (13-3) anticipates hate and ill-will to rain down from the Ibirapuera Gymnasium’s rafters at UFC Fight Night 119, and he couldn’t be happier.
Nearly a year has past since Griffin was pricked with a sensation he’d never encountered as a professional prizefighter: the role of outsider. Prior to Griffin’s departure for Sao Paulo, Brazil to meet Elizeu ‘Capoeira’ Zaleski dos Santos (17-5), the hard-hitting welterweight visited the @norcalfightmma Podcast, Episode 87 (link here), to discuss his return to enemy territory on foreign soil.
In Griffin’s last trip to the UFC’s Octagon, he collided with Erick Montano, the hometown hero and winner of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America Season 2, at UFC Fight 98 in Mexico City, Mexico. Prior to silencing the crowd with a thunderous knockout in under one-minute, Griffin recalled the deafening mistreatment he received,
“When I went to Mexico, they were throwing beers at me; they all wanted me to lose.”
Instead of passively enduring the abuse, Griffin absorbed it, allowing it to course through his veins and quench his thirst for blood. He detailed the transformation as,
“It brings a different kind of monster out in me when I’m fighting in enemy territory—like enemy country territory. Even [Las] Vegas, that’s neutral; people like you, people don’t. Vegas is kind of like fighting out here [Northern California]; I appreciate the fans and stuff, but you get that comfort, kinda. It puts you in a different kind of mind state when 20,000 people want to fucking kill you. That’s different.”
Whether at UFC Fight Night 119’s weigh-ins, walkout, or during formal introductions, Griffin will have the common Brazilian chant: “Uh Vai Morrer,” which translates to: “You’re going to die,” tossed at him like spears, but the impenetrable product of Marinoble’s Martial Arts and Kickboxing expects to use every hair-raising syllable to his advantage,
“It’s different than fighting in the states, so it puts me in more of a ‘I’m-gonna-rip-your-head-off’ kind of attitude. And I like having an attitude. I’m pretty successful with that mentality.”
Griffin gets the prelim portion of UFC Fight Night 119, broadcasted on FOX Sports 2, underway at 5:00 pm PST on October 28, 2017.