It doesn't seem like the ideal match-up. A hard-nosed, sarcastic, fan-friendly brawler versus a lethal, quiet, well-rounded Jiu-Jitsu expert. But then again, none of Forrest Griffin's fights seem to favor him on paper.
He wasn't supposed to beat Shogun Rua at UFC 76, but he locked in a Rear Naked Choke in the 3rd round and made people take notice. He wasn't supposed to take down Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 86, but he set the pace early and had Rampage limping as he pulled away the championship belt, and shocked the world again.
So while everybody in the world seems to think that Forrest stands no chance against pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva, Forrest seems to be right in his comfort zone, freed from expectations.
In a way, Forrest is the perfect man to take down the king. While Anderson Silva has been a dominant fighter in the UFC since his debut, his last two fights have been far from impressive. Not that Silva had anything to do with the passive offensive efforts from Cote or Leites, but his frustration was very telling. He hasn't had a real fight since Dan Henderson, and even that wasn't much of a challenge. His performances have made such an impact on his foes that nobody is willing to trade with him anymore.
Nobody until Forrest that is. While his skill set might be far behind Anderson's, Forrest may have more dumb determination than anybody he has ever faced in his career. Forrest won't go down with one punch and he won't lay around waiting for Silva to make a mistake. He's going to come right at the pound-for-pound king and test his mettle; something most other fighters have been shy to do.
And if there's one part of Anderson's game that has yet to be tested, it's his heart. He's never been pushed to the limit by anybody in the UFC and he's never had to dig down deep and pull out something a little extra. That's something that win or lose, Forrest will almost certainly make Anderson show him.
Based on the frustration that Anderson has showed in recent fights, its a trick that he may not be ready to pull out of the bag. So call me crazy, but if Forrest Griffin walks to the center of the Octagon with his hand held high, he won't be taking me by surprise.