by Matt Erickson on Jul 08, 2012 at 3:50 am ET
LAS VEGAS –
Forrest Griffinhas had strange nights in the octagon before. But Saturday may have raised the bar.
After his UFC 148 win over Tito Ortiz – before he even was announced the winner – Griffin bolted the cage and started running back toward the locker room. The early exit prompted UFC president Dana White to leave his cageside seat to chase Griffin down and send him back to the cage.
But if that wasn't enough, Griffin returned to the octagon, got his hand raised, then took the microphone from Joe Rogan and interviewed Ortiz himself. It was a set of circumstances that drew the ire of both White and Ortiz – and had the sell-out crowd at MGM Grand Garden Arena booing.
UFC 148 took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and featured a main-event middleweight title fight between champion
Anderson Silvaand top contender Chael Sonnen. The main card aired on pay-per-view; prelims aired on Facebook and FX.
"He drives me crazy, this guy," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) at the post-event news conference. "It's like professional suicide, the things he does. People love
Forrest Griffin. So I ran after him. I mean, do I really have to tell you guys what I said to him?"
White said he continued his conversation with Griffin, the first winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" and, like Ortiz, a former light heavyweight champion, before the news conference began.
"I met him back in the hall and I said, 'What are you doing? What's wrong with you? Are you mental?' And he said, 'I was really depressed.' And I said, 'The next time you're depressed about winning a fight, go in the back and be depressed.' It's Tito's last night, stand there, get your hand raised or Tito's hand raised, do your interview and if you're bummed out go do it in the back.
"And if you're bucking for Joe Rogan's (expletive) job, it ain't gonna happen. That's Joe's job. Leave the microphone alone until Joe comes over to talk to you. I love
Forrest Griffin. I always have. He's a great guy. But he gets a little kooky sometimes."
Ortiz, who had announced his retirement weeks prior to the fight, and who had been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame earlier in the day at the UFC Fan Expo, took exception to Griffin deciding to interview him.
"That was bull(expletive)," Ortiz said. "You've got to understand, 15 years ago Joe Rogan was the first person to interview me. I told him, 'I'm going to make a mark in this sport.' I helped build the sport that built me into the person I am today. For Forrest to step in and do the thing he did, after running? … I wish Joe Rogan would have interviewed me, but that's what we've got a press conference for."
Ortiz's remarks on Griffin stealing the thunder from his retirement sendoff came just as Griffin was walking into the news conference. Griffin offered his apologies for the incident, though Ortiz sat stone-faced on the dais while he did so.
"I sincerely apologize," Griffin said. "I can see you guys have got a ton of history and I apologize. I wish I could take that back. I'm sorry."
Regardless of the pair of incidents, or how much he may have alienated Ortiz, White or fans, Griffin had a good night from a financial standpoint. As MMAjunkie.com first reported Friday, Griffin made $275,000 for his win over Ortiz – $125,000 to show and an additional $150,000 win bonus. Additionally, he made an extra $75,000 for "Fight of the Night," bringing his total to $350,000. Ortiz pocketed $250,000 as a flat fee, plus the extra $75,000 in bonus money.