Former Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz will be returning to the Octagon after departing from the company in March of 2008. Ortiz was one of the more dominant champions in recent history with five successful title defenses and an overall record of 15-6-1. What many remember about Ortiz is not necessarily his fights but the pre- and post-fight antics of Ortiz.
To put it simply, Ortiz was a jackass.
Ortiz is the fighter that after completing his fight proceeds to pantomime digging a grave and burying his opponent. He has a rude and cocky personality that most often than not, he didn't back up. He also is the guy that gave Ken Shamrock the finger while Shamrock was approaching him to shake his hand and congratulate him on his victory.
All that aside, the title of this article poses a question and the answer to the question is YES.
Although Ortiz acted questionably in the past this last Saturday night we watched an interview with him during UFC 105. The usual cocky Ortiz was replaced by a more humble and respectable one. It may be his new found father hood but whatever it is it may be proof that a new and invigorated Ortiz has found his way back to the UFC.
Ortiz mentioned his surgically repaired back as well as his new tougher training schedule for his upcoming fight with Forrest Griffin. He also displayed a cool confidence stating that although Griffin is a good fighter, he feels he is the better one. Although I never was a fan or Tito's, the interview gave me the impression that Ortiz is taking this final chance at glory very seriously.
I am also led to believe that his rehabilitated body will hold up better in rematches with the likes of Griffin and Rashad Evans. Impressive victories over Griffin and Evans will be proof enough that he still is the dominant fighter he once was. Ortiz also boasted a new found set of submission skills which proves he is ever evolving.
Regardless of the outcome, I will enjoy seeing if Tito's polite pre-fight hype is justified or not.