Ortiz’s 15-year professional MMA career came to a close with the Huntington Beach Bad Boy losing for the sixth time in seven fights—a fact that is overlooked as the UFC Hall of Famer helped develop MMA and build the UFC brand.
Ortiz confirmed during the post-fight UFC 148 press conference that he’s doing, saying the following when asked by a reporter: “I think I did what I wanted to do in the sport. I have no regrets. I’m done” (via MMAJunkie.com).
Now, it’s time to figure out what the 37-year-old will do with his extra free time, as he certainly won’t end up just sitting around in front of the TV all day.
A vacation and time with his family is in the immediate future, but there are numerous options available for the UFC Hall of Famer.
In addition to his Punishment Athletics clothing line and Punishment Nutrition product catalog, the most likely option would be an MMA analyst position on cable TV.
During a press conference prior to UFC 148, Ortiz said he hopes he can find a position within the UFC, but already has an offer on the table from ESPN.
The former light heavyweight champion would serve as a good brand ambassador for the UFC, or serve as an analyst for ESPN or Fox.
If he doesn’t want a cushy office job with the UFC, or needs something besides being an analyst, taking acting classes and heading to Hollywood seems likely. He’s no stranger to the big screen, with appearances in Zombie Strippers!, a CSI: NY episode, Numb3rs episode, Valley of the Wolves: Iraq movie and so on—improving his acting skills and taking on larger acting roles would help him earn a paycheck and seek success.
Oh, and let’s not forget—he could still remain active by helping fighters train for their upcoming MMA camps. I don’t know if he’s going to be motivated to get into the cage and train frequently, but a strong worth ethic and solid coaching skill set could clearly help him generate additional revenue—and keep him busy.
Just because Ortiz won't step into the cage again as a fighter, it doesn't necessarily mean he's done with the sport yet.