Let’s get ready to say goodbye to former greatness tonight at UFC 148. There is no question that Tito Ortiz was one of the most dominant light heavyweights of his time.
What was so great about him is that he loved being the bad guy. He’s had feuds with everyone from Chuck Liddell to Ken Shamrock to Dana White. He’s beaten some of the best in the sport’s history and is a deserving member of the UFC Hall of Fame.
Across the cage will be Forrest Griffin, Ortiz’s closest rival. In two fights, both men have earned one split decision each. This will be the match that ends not only the feud, but also Tito’s illustrious career.
What to Watch For
In the last fight between the two, Griffin dominated the action on the feet. He wasn’t as crisp as he’d been in the past but he was catching Ortiz with good shots. Tito got in his fare share of shots, too, but in the end it wasn’t enough to give him the nod on more than one judge's scorecard.
I expect Ortiz to study that tape extensively and find holes in Griffin's striking. Look for Tito to utilize his jab and low kicks more often to set up his possible takedowns.
This fight will contain its fair share of grappling, and Griffin was the dominant one in that department in the last fight. Both guys on their best day are equals, and if anything, Griffin should enjoy an advantage with his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Look for Griffin to initiate the clinch and go to work.
Who will win this match?
It’s hard to see this fight not going to the judges’ scorecards once again.
We’ll get some good striking, solid grappling and an all-around brawl between these two. Neither man will gain a clear advantage and it will once again go down to the wire. Both fighters will put it all out on the line, and I expect to see each one genuinely looking to have their hand raised.
It may be wishful thinking, but I’m hoping to see the grave digger one more time before Ortiz rides off into the sunset.
Prediction: Tito Ortiz by unanimous decision