Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz recently teased a potential comeback to mixed martial arts after retiring from the sport in July 2012.
Ortiz lost a unanimous decision to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148, but had stated before the event that win, lose or draw, that would be his final fight after a 15-year career.
It only took 12 months for Ortiz to have second thoughts, and after allowing his injury-riddled body to heal without any fights, he dropped a curious message on Twitter about a potential return:
For the biggest part of his MMA career, Ortiz was a mainstay of the UFC, where he won the UFC light heavyweight title and defended it on five occasions. He also entered the UFC Hall of Fame just a day prior to his final fight in the Octagon.
Unfortunately, the latter part of Ortiz's career did not go nearly as well as the earlier parts.
Ortiz closed out his time with the UFC going 1-7-1 over his last nine fights, and if he didn't retire, there had to be some chance the promotion would have released him anyway.
That's why UFC president Dana White didn't seem too interested in bringing Ortiz back should he decide to fight again when the subject was broached on Saturday night after the conclusion of UFC on Fox 8.
"Who gives a s—t?" White said when asked about Ortiz's return. "Anybody want to see a Tito superfight with who? Tito's lost every fight he's had over the last three years or something. He won one fight in the last three years against (Ryan) Bader. Tito hung in there and made some more money, he was a guy who was around in the early days, it's time for Tito to move on."
Ortiz claims that with a healthy body and mind, he's contemplating a return to action after spending most of his time in the last few years dealing with a myriad of injuries.
White isn't so sure Ortiz's claims are quite that honorable.
The former UFC champion has had a very public spat with former girlfriend, adult actress Jenna Jameson, and an ongoing custody battle over their two sons.
White believes that deep down, Ortiz's motivation to return to fighting comes purely from a financial standpoint:
"Tito's going to do whatever Tito has to do," White said. "Tito is the guy that back in the early days was like 'I'm going to retire young from this sport, and I'm going to become an actor and my Punishment clothing line is going through the roof, I'm not going to be that guy that hangs around in this sport too long.'
Does anybody remember that s—t? Yeah, now Tito's like 'yeah I think I'm going to come back, I haven't won a fight in three years, and I'm old.' Obviously, Tito needs money, that's the only reason he would come back."
White went on to say he honestly had no idea if the UFC had any kind of contractual claim to Ortiz after his retirement. At the time when he fought Griffin at UFC 148, it was the final bout on his contract, so if he returned, Ortiz would be free and clear to sign with any promotion.
It's likely, however, that Ortiz won't be back in the UFC.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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