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Tyson Lee Griffin (born April 20, 1984) is a retired[1] American mixed martial artist who competed in the lightweight division. He competed for the UFC, Strikeforce, the RFA, and the World Series of Fighting.

Tyson Griffin
Tyson Griffin.jpg
BornTyson Lee Griffin
(1984-04-20) April 20, 1984 (age 35)
Sacramento, California, United States
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)
DivisionFeatherweight (2004-2006, 2011)
Lightweight (2006-2010, 2012-2014, 2018)
Reach69 in (175 cm)
Fighting out ofLas Vegas, Nevada, United States
TeamAmerican Kickboxing Academy
Rank     Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Years active2004–2014, 2018
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout6
By submission3
By decision8
By knockout3
By decision5
UniversitySanta Rosa Junior College
Notable school(s)Albany High School
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog


Griffin was a standout wrestler at Albany High School and moved on to wrestle at Skyline Junior College before dropping out. He began training at David Terrell's NorCal Fighting Alliance and the Cesar Gracie Academy. During his first mixed martial arts training session, Terrell cut two gashes over Griffin's left eye, requiring stitches. Griffin states that he committed himself to a career in MMA while in the hospital waiting room. His mother supported him during his first year of training, but after his professional debut he had to get side jobs to support himself through his early career.[2]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Tyson Griffin began his professional career in 2004 in the Gladiator Challenge promotion. In his third bout, he dropped to featherweight to earn a TKO victory over future World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion Urijah Faber, which stood as Faber's only defeat for over three years. Griffin went on to win all of his first six fights before facing Duane Ludwig at Strikeforce: Revenge. He won the bout by TKO in the first round, attracting the attention of major promotions. After considering offers from Pride Fighting Championship and the UFC, Griffin signed with the UFC so that he could continue to fight stateside. While cornering for David Terrel at UFC 59 in Las Vegas, Griffin had an opportunity to meet members of the Xtreme Couture camp for the first time.[2]

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Griffin made his UFC debut at UFC 63 against David Lee. He won the bout via rear-naked choke submission in the first round, and later used the prize money to move to Las Vegas and joined the Xtreme Couture camp.[2] Former teammate Nick Diaz criticized Griffin as a "gym jumper", but Griffin rejected the accusation.[3] He began 2007 with a fight against Frank Edgar at UFC 67. The back-and-forth bout ended with Edgar trapped in a tight kneebar, but the judges unanimously scored the bout in his favor, handing Griffin his first professional loss. He rebounded with two decision victories over Clay Guida and Thiago Tavares at UFC 72 and UFC 76, respectively. All three of his bouts in 2007 were judged in the top 10 best of year.[4]

In 2008, Griffin won unanimous decisions over Gleison Tibau at UFC 81 and Marcus Aurélio at UFC 86.

He next faced Sean Sherk at UFC 90, in a fight with title contention implications. In another three-round war, Griffin lost by unanimous decision, after a hard fought fight.

Griffin defeated Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night: Condit vs Kampmann via unanimous decision.

He won against Hermes Franca via KO in the second round at UFC 103, earning his first victory via stoppage in three years.[5]

Griffin was scheduled to face Jim Miller on January 2, 2010 at UFC 108,[6] but was forced off the card with an injury.[7]

Griffin fought Xtreme Couture training partner Evan Dunham on June 12, 2010 at UFC 115.[8] He lost the fight via split decision.

Griffin faced former PRIDE Lightweight Champion, Takanori Gomi on August 1, 2010 at UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko, replacing an injured Joe Stevenson.[9] Griffin lost via KO (punch) at 1:04 of the first round. This marked the first time Griffin had lost back to back fights, as well as the first time he had been stopped in a fight as all of his previous losses had gone to a decision. Griffin was visibly upset with the loss; pacing around the octagon and refusing to shake Gomi's hand.

Griffin was defeated by Nik Lentz on November 20, 2010 at UFC 123 by split decision.[10] After the bout it was revealed that Griffin had failed a post-fight drug screening, testing positive for marijuana.[11]

Griffin next faced Manvel Gamburyan in his featherweight debut on June 26, 2011 at UFC on Versus 4.[12] He won the fight via majority decision.

Griffin lost to Bart Palaszewski on October 29, 2011 at UFC 137 via first-round KO.[13] During weigh ins, Griffin had failed to make the featherweight limit, coming in 3 pounds over. Griffin was fined 25 percent of his earnings and the bout took place at a catchweight of 148 lb.[14] It wasn't announced until June 2012 that he was released from the promotion shortly after the fight.[15]

Resurrection Fighting AllianceEdit

Griffin signed a 3-fight contract with the Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA).[16]

Tyson faced TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero in a lightweight bout at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 4 on November 2, 2012.[17] He won the fight via unanimous decision.

World Series Of FightingEdit

In June 2013, it was announced that Griffin had signed a multi-fight deal with World Series of Fighting.[18] On August 10, 2013, he faced Strikeforce veteran Gesias Cavalcante.[19] He lost the fight via TKO in the third round.

Griffin faced Luiz Firmino at WSOF 10 on June 21, 2014. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[20]

Universal Reality Combat ChampionshipEdit

On August 24 2018, after a four year retirement/hiatus, Tyson Griffin returned to face former Bellator fighter, Jordan Bailey at URCC 34. After his personal struggles during his time away from the sport, he earned an emotional victory via unanimous decision.

Championships and achievementsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
25 matches 17 wins 8 losses
By knockout 6 3
By submission 3 0
By decision 8 5
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 17–8 Jordan Bailey Decision (unanimous) URCC 34 August 4, 2018 3 5:00 Richmond, California, United States
Loss 16–8 Luiz Firmino Decision (unanimous) WSOF 10 June 21, 2014 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 16–7 Gesias Cavalcante TKO (punches) WSOF 4 August 10, 2013 3 1:37 Ontario, California, United States
Win 16–6 Efrain Escudero Decision (unanimous) RFA 4: Griffin vs. Escudero November 2, 2012 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Return to Lightweight.
Loss 15–6 Bart Palaszewski KO (punches) UFC 137 October 29, 2011 1 2:45 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States 148 lb Catchweight bout; Griffin missed weight.
Win 15–5 Manvel Gamburyan Decision (majority) UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry June 26, 2011 3 5:00 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Return to Featherweight.
Loss 14–5 Nik Lentz Decision (split) UFC 123 November 20, 2010 3 5:00 Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Loss 14–4 Takanori Gomi KO (punch) UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko August 1, 2010 1 1:04 San Diego, California, United States
Loss 14–3 Evan Dunham Decision (split) UFC 115 June 12, 2010 3 5:00 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Win 14–2 Hermes França KO (punches) UFC 103 September 19, 2009 2 3:26 Dallas, Texas, United States 159 lb Catchweight bout; Franca missed weight.
Win 13–2 Rafael dos Anjos Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann April 1, 2009 3 5:00 Nashville, Tennessee, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 12–2 Sean Sherk Decision (unanimous) UFC 90 October 25, 2008 3 5:00 Rosemont, Illinois, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 12–1 Marcus Aurélio Decision (unanimous) UFC 86 July 5, 2008 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–1 Gleison Tibau Decision (unanimous) UFC 81 February 2, 2008 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–1 Thiago Tavares Decision (unanimous) UFC 76 September 22, 2007 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 9–1 Clay Guida Decision (split) UFC 72 June 16, 2007 3 5:00 Belfast, Northern Ireland Fight of the Night. Fight of the Year.
Loss 8–1 Frankie Edgar Decision (unanimous) UFC 67 February 3, 2007 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 8–0 David Lee Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn September 23, 2006 1 1:50 Anaheim, California, United States Submission of the Night.
Win 7–0 Duane Ludwig TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Revenge June 9, 2006 1 3:57 San Jose, California, United States
Win 6–0 Chuck Kim Submission (rear-naked choke) GC 49: Face Off April 8, 2006 1 3:34 Lakeport, California, United States
Win 5–0 Melchor Manibusan TKO (punches) FFCF 5: Unleashed January 27, 2006 1 4:05 Mangilao, Guam Lightweight debut.
Win 4–0 Jorge Evangelista KO (punches) GC 46: Avalanche December 11, 2005 1 3:14 Coarsegold, California, United States
Win 3–0 Urijah Faber TKO (punches) GC 42: Summer Slam September 10, 2005 3 0:05 Lakeport, California, United States Won Gladiator Challenge Featherweight Championship.
Win 2–0 Cody Williams Submission (rear-naked choke) GC 36: Proving Grounds April 9, 2005 1 2:05 Porterville, California, United States
Win 1–0 Ryan Frost TKO (punches) GC 32: King of the Hill November 18, 2004 1 1:16 Colusa, California, United States


  1. ^ "Tyson Griffin on living the dream and consequences therein". April 30, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Griffin, Tyson. "Tyson Griffin Bio". Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  3. ^ Caplan, Sam (October 13, 2008). "Tyson Griffin talks future UFC lightweight title shot, possible rematch vs. Urijah Faber, whether he's a gym jumper, and more in new 5 Oz. interview". Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  4. ^ "Best 10 UFC fights of 2007". January 5, 2008. Archived from the original on February 19, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2008.
  5. ^ "Tyson Griffin vs. Hermes Franca Likely for UFC 103". MMAFrenzy.
  6. ^ "Tyson Griffin vs. Jim Miller in the works for UFC 108 lightweight contest in Las Vegas". Archived from the original on 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  7. ^ ""UFC 108: Evans vs. Silva" takes another hit; lightweight Tyson Griffin out". Retrieved 2009-12-11.
  8. ^ "UFC 115: Tyson Griffin vs Evan Dunham on tap for June 12". Retrieved 2010-02-03.
  9. ^ "Change to UFC main card bout". 2010-06-28.
  10. ^ "Lentz vs. Griffin headed to UFC 123". September 9, 2010. Archived from the original on September 12, 2010.
  11. ^ "Tyson Griffin Tested Positive For Marijuana At UFC 123". March 9, 2012.
  12. ^ "Tyson Griffin meets featherweight Manny Gamburyan at UFC on Versus 4". April 5, 2011. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  13. ^ "Bart Palaszewski vs. Tyson Griffin targeted for UFC 137 in Las Vegas. Griffin lost by KO in round 1". July 20, 2011. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011.
  14. ^ "UFC 137 weigh-in results: Penn and Diaz make weight before brief scuffle". October 28, 2011. Archived from the original on October 29, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  15. ^ Adam Martin (June 6, 2012). "Tyson Griffin was cut by UFC last November".[dead link]
  16. ^ "RFA signs MMA star Tyson Griffin".
  17. ^ "RFA 4 Heads to Las Vegas with UFC Vets Gilbert Yvel, Marcio Cruz, Tyson Griffin, Efrain Escudero". Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Tyson Griffin vs. Luiz Firmino". June 21, 2014.

External linksEdit