This week’s conversation is with Forrest Griffin, a retired mixed martial artist and a UFC Hall of Famer.

A former Georgia Police Officer, Forrest got his shot at UFC Stardom on the first season of the Ultimate Fighter.

He won the first season in a fight against Stephan Bonnar that helped put MMA on the map.

The Ultimate Fighter Finale was a wild success and brought a lot of new attention to the UFC at a time when the sport was at a make or break point.

Forrest went on to become a UFC Light Heavyweight World Champion and eventually was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

I had the pleasure of meeting Forrest for the first time at an event this past July – “Evel Live,” where motorsports icon Travis Pastrana honored legendary daredevil Evel Knievel by attempting three of his most dangerous feats in Las Vegas.

We had a great conversation around what it takes to be mentally prepared inside the Octagon and I knew we needed to follow up with a podcast.

Fighting can be a great metaphor for life.

You get hit, you get knocked down, mistakes are made, but as Forrest makes clear, it’s all about how you react, how you adjust in those moments.

Are you going to focus on the mistake or figure out how to survive and flourish from that point forward?

Forrest has a unique perspective on life – while fighting can be an intense and violent sport, he’s light-hearted at his core and that definitely stands out in this conversation.

“The mental component is very hard. I’ve never seen anyone great crumble under pressure, but I’ve seen people that I thought had the potential to be great, freeze up, not want to do it, and start throwing up in the locker room.”

In This Episode:

  • Grew up in a rough neighborhood in Georgia with little money until his stepdad came into the picture
  • Discovered his athletic ability at the beginning of high school, started out playing football
  • His path to fighting in the UFC: left his job as a cop, was close to broke and homeless, looking for any opportunity to fight
  • The story of his first experience with UFC president Dana White and the impact it had on him
  • His relationship with fear
  • How many concussions has he had? 30
  • His commitment to helping the next generation of fighters
  • Balancing the demands of being an athlete and an entertainer
  • His model for training UFC fighters
  • The different stages of choking under pressure
  • The key characteristics that Forrest sees in successful UFC fighters
  • His ideal fighting mindset
  • Why fighters need to spend more time planning for a life after fighting
  • How he prepares fighters for “big moments”
  • His thoughts on success and failure
  • The art and science of the mental game
  • His definition of mastery


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | SpotifyStitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS




“I’ve never let being unqualified to do something stop me from doing it. I gravitate towards things other people are uncomfortable doing.”

“I’d rather regret the choices I make in life than the choices I don’t make.”

“I have a finite amount of energy, I want to use it for the important things, not the unimportant things.”

“Habits and routine make the extraordinary ordinary.”


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UFC Hall of Famer

Forrest Griffin is a retired mixed martial artist and a UFC Hall of Famer. Since 2005, he has been signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship where he is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.