Josh Grispi rose to prominence and popularity in the WEC on the strength of four straight wins in the first round. Of his 15 career fights heading into UFC 125 on New Year's Day, only one of them went beyond the first round.
For his efforts, and the efforts (or lack there of) of the other 145-pounders, Grispi became the next featherweight title contender. The next fighter to step into the cage against WEC/UFC champion Jose Aldo, No. 3 on Newsday's pound-for-pound rankings.
That title fight was scheduled for UFC 125 on New Year's Day. It never happened. Rather, in November, Aldo pulled out of the bout with a compressed vertebrae in his neck. Grispi, 22, from Rockland, Mass., then accepted a fight against Dustin Poirier.
Grispi (pictured above, at WEC 41) got whooped by Poirier at UFC 125. Before the fight, Poirier said he saw some flaws in Grispi's game. All fighters say that. Few deliver.
With front kicks, inside leg kicks and superior stand-up skills, Poirier dominated Grispi (14-2) for three rounds. He won a unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring the bout, 30-27.
Poirier, 21, from Carencro, La., effectively stole Grispi's momentum and title shot. Whether Poirier is next to challenge Aldo or not remains to be seen.
As for Grispi, take a page from the wise ol' Rashad Evans' book: If you have the title shot, don't fight until the champ is ready.