UFC

Tito Ortiz Fired From the Ultimate Fighter, Undergoes Neck Surgery

CENTURY CITY, CA - JUNE 07:  Tito Ortiz at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center's 24th Annual Sports Spectacular held on June 7, 2009 in Century City, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Cedars-Sinai)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Joe SchaferCorrespondent IMay 27, 2010

Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz recently underwent extensive neck surgery to repair fused discs that have been causing the fighter a range of problems, anything from sharp pains to numbness in his arms.

MMA Mania posted a graphic video from Titoortiz.com showing "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" before and during the grueling surgery.

Leading up to his hospital visit, Ortiz was filmed in Las Vegas explaining his recent falling out as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter, his neck issues, and how he can no longer fight hurt.

"About three or four months ago, I said that my neck was jacked, but I was still fighting and putting my ass on the line," Ortiz somberly explained. "I can't fight hurt anymore. I'm not going to fight injured. I never want to look for excuses. I always want to win every one of my fights."

He also expressed concern before the surgery, stating that he was afraid, and hoped his recuperation would not prevent him from making a swift return to the octagon.

"I'm scared, but Dr. Smith is a great doctor who does great surgeries. My lower back was hard, but I got through it. He said this is probably 10-15 percent easier, however much that is. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the last of my neck pain," Ortiz said. "No more headaches, no more numbness down my arms."

The last time Ortiz was in the octagon was back in November of last year at UFC 106, when he lost a split decision against Forrest Griffin in their controversial rematch.

Following the bout, the 35-year-old fighter received heavy criticism after attributing his loss to pre-fight injuries that were overshadowed by promises of being a healthy "new Tito Ortiz." Many fans felt misled by the whole ordeal.

Not to mention the frustrations his injury-prone career has caused on the reality show The Ultimate Fighter, putting an end to his coach stint against rival coach and personal nemesis Chuck Liddell. The Iceman is now slated to face Rich Franklin in a headlining bout at UFC 115.

"I was having trouble training, hitting mitts, and wrestling on The Ultimate Fighter. That's why they pretty much fired me," Ortiz discussed. "What I can do? I have to get the surgery so I can get back and fight again."

Most of the video shows Tito under the knife as a team of doctors opened up the back of his neck to drill, scrape, and jab with various medical instruments. At one point, the lead surgeon was operating with a hammer and what appeared to be a screwdriver.

Ortiz' fighting future is yet again in limbo, leaving a big question mark as to when he will be able to return to training.

 

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