August of 2009 was not a good time for Forrest Griffin. He was eight months removed from losing the UFC light heavyweight belt to Rashad Evans. He was then given a bout with Anderson Silva, who was moving up from middleweight for the main event at UFC 101.
With so much weighing on him, he now admits he took anti-anxiety medication Xanax the night before the fight. Griffin told the MMA Hour that his drug test did come up positive after the knockout loss to Silva.
"I failed my drug test I think for Xanax," Griffin said. "I had a doctor's prescription, I was just, I didn't do it before the fight, I did it the night before, I was nervous and I couldn't sleep."
He said he never revealed the information publicly because there was no point in adding to the embarrassment. Greg Sirb, the head of the Pennsylvania commission that administered the fight said strict privacy laws keep him from sharing information about the 30-day suspension Griffin received after the loss to Silva.
When applying for a license for his next bout at UFC 106, Griffin said he recently had a 30-day suspension, but didn't say why. Medical suspensions of 30 days are fairly common, particularly for fighters who suffered a knockout like Griffin.
Griffin tweeted about his admission:
Just to be clear I was not on drugs for the Sliva fight I simply appeared to be stoned
— Forrest Griffin (@ForrestGriffin) October 1, 2012
Web MD cites drowsiness, dizziness and low energy as common side effects of Xanax. Though he took it the night before, not one of those side effects is surprising when you consider Griffin's fight with Silva. Even with Silva's Matrix-esque moves, something looked not right with the former champ.