Max Griffin considers Alex Oliveira fight 'a gift,' promises finish at UFC 248

LAS VEGAS – Max Griffin might not be in the best form heading into UFC 248, but mentally he feels at the top of his game.

Griffin (15-7 MMA, 3-5 UFC) takes on Alex Oliveira in the opening bout of the pay-per-view main card Saturday at T-Mobile Arena and says his form is better than his recent win-loss column might suggest.

“I look at my Thiago Alves fight as a victory, (and) I beat Zelim (Imadaev, at UFC 236),” Griffin told MMA Junkie during media day. “My last fight with Alex Morono was a close fight – I won the fight except for the last 40 seconds when he kicked me in the head.”

Griffin says his competitiveness, even in defeat, means he’s the sort of fighter fans enjoy coming to watch, and he said his upcoming clash with “Cowboy” Oliveira (20-8-1 MMA, 9-6 UFC) is the sort of fight that fires him up personally, too.

“People want to see action, and to get this kind of fight with Cowboy Oliveira, it’s a blessing,” he said. “I jumped out the bed, dancing, excited. I want to fight the best guys in the world, and it couldn’t be on a better platform, kicking off the card on pay per view.

“We both bring it. He’s always wild. I’m ready to do what I gotta do in there. It’s a perfect time. He’s on a losing streak. My record kinda doesn’t speak that, but it’s my time. I feel like they gave me a gift.”

Despite his excitement for the matchup, Griffin suggested he had spotted a weakness in the psyche of his Brazilian opponent, and he plans to exploit it on fight night.

“He’s a dangerous guy, he’s fought the best in the world,” Griffin said. “You look at his list of rivals, he’s fought every single guy (and) has a good record. But, as of late, he is on a losing streak, doesn’t have the same fire, I feel. Kinda giving up, he gives up, and I’m getting better, and I’m excited to show it.

“He is on a losing streak, so he’s going to try to save his contract. They didn’t want to accept this fight, and that’s a fact, and they ended up doing it two weeks later. So he’s going to try to save his contract on me, but it’s not gonna happen.”

The bout between the pair has been highlighted as a possible back-and-forth war, but while Griffin is more than happy to engage in one, if necessary, he said he plans on making it a one-sided affair.

“It has the potential for being a war, but I’m not into making it a war,” Griffin said. “I’m going in there (to) execute my gameplan and finish him. I’m going to break him, I’m going to push the pace and take it from him.”

UFC 248 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

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