When UFC 148 was put into the record books on Saturday night, Anderson Silva's TKO win over Chael Sonnen wasn't the only compelling story of the evening. In the night's co-main event, Hall of Fame fighter Tito Ortiz put on a less-than-stellar performance against former champion Forrest Griffin.
The showing would be the last of Tito's career, as "The People's Champ" announced that his trilogy-ending battle with Griffin would also be the final fight in his life of pugilistic endeavors.
Although Griffin looked like a shell of himself during the fight, most people will overlook that fact simply because Ortiz looked even worse. Early in the second round, Ortiz could be seen taking heavy breaths and being forced to slow down the pace.
The Huntington Beach Bad Boy has seen UFC combat 27 times, and in the process, won championships and broke records. However, sporting an embarrassing 1-7-1 record through his final nine fights, you've got to think that Ortiz's decision to hang up the gloves is overdue.
Although he was only 33 at the time, many would argue that Ortiz should have called it quits when he required an intensive back surgery in 2008. Since returning to action, the former light heavyweight champion has simply not looked the same, while turning in a 1-5 record.
Ortiz has many accomplishments to his credit, which includes five consecutive title defenses, 15 organizational wins and a trio of wins over fellow Hall of Fame fighter Ken Shamrock.
Like Ortiz, Shamrock would only win one time in his final nine fights with a major organization. Continuing to fight well beyond his physical prime, fans have criticized Shamrock for not knowing when to call it quits. One can only speculate as to the parallels that will be drawn between the two careers.
Will history be kind to Tito's legacy, or will he be remembered for the losses that plagued his final years? Unfortunately, I think the latter is more likely. In any situation, Ortiz is a pioneer of this business, who should be honored for his contributions to the sport that we love.
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