The UFC on ESPN+ 13 card took place this past Saturday and in attendance was UFC welterweight Max Griffin (15-6). I ran into Griffin at the event and we chatted about what was next for him.
A few months ago when the UFC announced they were heading to Sacramento everyone quickly assumed Max Griffin would be on that card. It was expected because Griffin fights out of and trains in the Sacramento area. He was also fresh off penning a new five-fight contract with the UFC and they were starting to give Griffin the promotional push. This was done by putting him in hype videos and so on . If that wasn’t enough, Max himself was campaigning for a spot on the Sacramento card. “I’ve been wanting to fight at home for a long time, and it’s perfect timing”, Griffin told MMA Junkie. So why wasn’t Max Griffin on the UFC Sacramento card?
Well, fast forward to roughly about two weeks ago when news broke of a women’s strawweight fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Michelle Waterson was announced for UFC San Francisco. That’s when the wheels in my head started to turn. The reason why Griffin was not on the Sacramento card was because they were saving him for their first trip to San Francisco.
Sacramento is a very passionate but niche MMA market for the UFC. The Bay Area, on the other hand is a potentially bigger market for the promotion. Griffin was given his huge contract extension because he beat Zelim Imadaev (a fighter the UFC is very high on) on a big PPV card. Which means the UFC has plans to use Griffin on a bigger platform to utilize his draw while simultaneously pushing his stardom. Sacramento and San Francisco are very close to each other and are both in northern California. So, Griffin would still be considered the local fighter but it makes more sense for the UFC to put him in the bigger market.
Wielding this information, I asked Max this past Saturday if he will be on the San Francisco card. Griffin confirmed that he will be fighting in San Francisco on that card but did not elaborate on an opponent.
Max Griffin is 3-4 since entering the UFC but has face fierce top-tier competition with notable fighters such as Colby Covington, Curtis Millender, Thiago Alves, and Mike Perry. Also, Griffin’s split decision loss to Thiago Alves in Brazil is highly controversial.
The UFC San Francisco card will be referred to as UFC on ESPN+ 19 or UFC Fight Night 161. The event will take place on October 12, 2019 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California.
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