Most people would probably tell you that Tito Ortiz’s career was over sometime in 2006, but he’s managed to find spots on several UFC cards since then. But, in the midst of a five-fight winless streak headed into UFC 132 this weekend, it looks like former UFC light heavyweight champion may finally be at the end of his rope.
Ortiz (15-8-1) is set to face Ryan Bader (12-1) in a light heavyweight matchup, and is a 4-1 underdog in the fight. Unless he pulls off a miracle against the 28-year-old rising star, Tito’s career could be finished.
Ortiz had the following to say regarding his future:
“I can’t make decisions for my future, only Dana (White) can, only the UFC can. There’s nowhere else for me to go. There’s no more Strikeforce, there’s no more Pride, there’s no more WEC. Everything’s been bought by the UFC … (and) if Dana thinks it’s time for me to bounce and go somewhere else or hang up my gloves … I have no choice.”
Frankly, while he used to be a star in the UFC, Ortiz’s style has never been crowd-pleasing. He has always survived because he’s outspoken and has a big personality. Ortiz hasn’t knocked anyone out since 2006 (Ken Shamrock, twice) and seven of his last 10 fights have been decided by the judges. MMA fans crave big finishes, not decisions. That’s why guys like Cheik Kongo and Pat Barry are getting so much pub this week, even though both of them left themselves wide open to knockouts this past Sunday.
Since 2006 Ortiz’s record looks like this: knockout loss to Chuck Liddell, unanimous draw with Rashad Evans, unanimous decision loss to Lyoto Machida, split decision loss to Forrest Griffin and unanimous decision loss to Matt Hamill. Let’s face it, over the past few years “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has become more well-known for his personal life than his in-ring exploits.
If he can’t get by Bader we think this weekend is the last time we’ll see Ortiz in a UFC ring.