It's not exactly how he wanted to go out, but nonetheless, former light heavyweight champion and UFC legend Tito Ortiz has retired following a unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin in a trilogy bout at UFC 148.
In the first round, Ortiz landed two brief takedowns, but was thoroughly out-classed standing. In the second, Ortiz scored a knockdown, but again was largely unsuccessful for most of the round. The third round saw a more successful Ortiz, as he landed a knockdown and spent a lot of the round on top.
It was a close fight and some felt that Ortiz could have been awarded the decision. Griffin said after the fight that he feels like him and Ortiz have fought to three draws.
After the bout, Griffin arguably ruined Ortiz' last moments in the cage by taking the microphone from Joe Rogan and conducting a post-fight interview with Ortiz himself.
Currently, Ortiz is considered one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time, but modern MMA is still a young sport.
In 10 years, how will Tito Ortiz be remembered?
It's tough to say.
Ortiz undoubtedly has accomplished more than most fighters ever will. He has the third most wins in UFC history and he also has the record for most light heavyweight title defenses, as well as longest reigning light heavyweight champion.
In the early days of the sport, Ortiz was a polarizing figure that MMA desperately needed to help the sport gain some momentum. Now, Ortiz is a UFC Hall of Fame inductee and rightfully so.
That said, Ortiz struggled greatly in the last few years of his career. He leaves the sport with a record of 16-11-1 and is 1-8-1 in his last ten fights.
The argument could be made that Ortiz was a right place, right time kind of fighter. He made his rise when the sport was still very young and fighters were not nearly as skilled or well-rounded as the best fighters today.
At the rate the sport is growing, ten years from now,the fighters who are the best today might seem rudimentary and outdated.
How will Ortiz look then?
What it comes down to is that Ortiz figured out a style that had people scratching their heads for a while, but eventually he was figured out and the sport evolved past him.
In light of this knowledge, I believe future fans will look back on Ortiz as a forefather of the sport and he will get tons of respect for his impact and influence on MMA—but won't necessarily get much credit for his skill as a fighter.