Griffin will bring the heat to Rua

I’m a man, I’m a provider, and genetically hard-wired that way. I want to be the man. If grandma needs a hearing aid – I’m gonna get that – but opportunity becomes a lot like responsibility when you sit down with it. I have an opportunity to make a lot of money and do a lot of great things, and I’m gonna do that. That’s what a man does – whether he wants to do it or not.

I really enjoy being the man. I enjoy my family counting on me and I enjoy being able to provide for my family and my extended family. That gives me a great sense of pride. My best friend, Big John, he passed away and I promised him that I would make sure his son never went without, and I’m gonna have to keep that promise. But I’m not mad about it. I’m just happy that I’m in a position where I can actually keep promises and take care of people. I thought, what can I do good? What can I do in this world to make things better? And you know what I can actually do? I can win these fights, make this money, and help those around me. That’s what I can do.

I have this opportunity, so why wouldn’t I take advantage of it? I know at some point I’m gonna be an old man walking through Target, and I’ll be like ‘Man, I wish I would have done this, or given that.’ And I never want to have that regret, so I’m gonna push myself as hard as I can for another three or four years, five, maybe six fights, do as much as I can, make as much money as I can, fight as many good fights as I can, and when it’s over, I won’t have any regrets.

Writing my book was a blast and it wasn’t a job. It’s like this: A really wise man once said, and I think he put it in a book, “Given a long enough span of time, any job becomes work.” Even this job of being a UFC fighter becomes work.

But fighting great fights still excites me. People ask if I want to go for my old belt when Jon Jones has it. I’m not a coward. If I find myself in an opportunity to make a play for it, you better believe I’m gonna go for it.

See, I’m gonna play the mountain analogy every time someone asks me about the belt: You look up at the mountain and it’s high. You’re gonna get disenchanted and disillusioned and you’re gonna quit climbing. If you look down and say, ‘I’m pretty high up here,’ you’re gonna fall and lose your footing. I keep my eyes on my next foothold, on my next handhold, and on my rope. I don’t look up, I don’t look down, and that’s the way you gotta be.

I fight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the second time at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next week. I won the first fight four years ago and that was really a good night for me. You can tell that just by how stupid I acted after the fight.

The whole momentum, finishing the fight with 14 seconds left, it was one of those things – in that fight I didn’t think he was gonna stop me, and I’m not gonna quit so I figured I’d win. And it’s the same mentality this time. I’m gonna try and go forward, I’m gonna fight him and I’m not gonna back down. I’m not gonna fall down and crumble, and every scramble, I’m gonna scramble with him.

Yeah, there’s a good chance that he’ll catch me with a running hook or a knee or something, and I’ll be done, but he’s gonna have to earn that. I’m coming after him. I’m in a pretty good place mentally because I’m not so attached to the outcome. I care more about how I perform and more about not going out there and laying an egg, a.k.a. pulling an “Anderson Silva.” As long as I fight and fight well, I don’t give a hoot.

Follow me on twitter – @ForrestGriffin – and pick up my books from all fine bookstores.

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Updated Friday, Aug 19, 2011