When Tito Ortiz makes his next appearance in the Octagon, it will be his last.
Ortiz sat down with FightersOnly.com in an exclusive interview to discuss his final bout with Griffin, among other topics. The 37-year-old Ortiz confirmed he will retire following the bout.
"The last fight is Forrest Griffin, its on July 7 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand," Ortiz said. "I just gotta do the work, I’ve took myself up to Big Bear - which is a camp I haven’t been up to in the last couple of years - because its important that I do the right things to prepare for this fight so that when I leave I get my hand raised."
Seeing his hand raised is not something Ortiz has been familiar with for quite some time. He defeated Ryan Bader last year, but before that "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" hadn't won since 2006. He's compiled a 1-6-1 record in his last 10 bouts.
It is no secret Ortiz is no longer the fighter he once was. But he continues to defy the odds and put on respectable performances. Once perceived as a villain in the sport, Ortiz is wiser and more grateful at this stage of his career and hopes he becomes more of an inspiration to fans as he nears the end of his career.
Regardless of the outcome against Griffin, Ortiz is content with the career he has had and the success he has made for the sport.
"I have had a long and illustrious career of 15 years. I’m the longest-competing UFC fighter to date, most consecutive UFC appearances, most light-heavyweight title defenses," he said. "I am very thankful, when I look at my career, and I want to leave on my own terms. I am very happy with it."