Former light heavyweight champion bounces back in impressive fashion
Coming into the bout, there were a lot of questions circling around both fighters. Rua’s health and Griffin’s motivation were talked about in the pre-fight build up, but once the action got under way, those questions were answered.
Rua, who is known for his blitzkrieg style, was hesitant early, as both fighters felt each other out. Griffin connected with a right hook that was immediately answered by a powerful uppercut from Rua. Griffin continued to apply the pressure, but Rua landed a left hook that backed up his opponent.
Griffin attempted to answer back, but was on the receiving in end of a hard right hand that stunned the former champion. As Griffin attempted to take a step back he dropped to his knees where Rua turned up the intensity. Once the action hit the canvas, Rua unleashed a vicious series of hammer fists that forced the referee to jump in and stop the fight at 1:52 into the first round.
The victory puts Rua back into the win column after losing a lopsided affair to Jon Jones back in March. It is his first appearance since losing the light heavyweight title and the win over Griffin will keep Rua in the mix in the ultra-competitive 205 pound division.