UFC 132 Results: After Defeating Ryan Bader, Who's Next for Tito Ortiz?
Less than 24 hours ago, many believed they were getting ready to see Tito Ortiz's final appearance in the Octagon at UFC 132. Ortiz had a legendary career, but having been winless since October 2006, UFC President Dana White made it no secret that UFC 132 would be the final chance for "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" to get back on track.
An astronomical underdog, Ortiz pulled off the unlikeliest of submissions to defeat Ryan Bader and remain employed as a UFC fighter. The win guaranteed Ortiz a 27th Octagon appearance, which will mostly likely come against an experienced light heavyweight contender.
Having been in the UFC for such a long time, Ortiz has fought most of the competition the 205-pound division has to offer. However, there are a couple of intriguing matchups Ortiz could still have available for his next fight.
Winner of Mauricio Rua vs. Forrest Griffin
Many MMA publications still have Mauricio Rua ranked as highly as the second-best fight in the light heavyweight division. But Rua will have some proving to do before earning another title shot, as he was dominated by Jon Jones in his last fight.
If Rua is able to defeat Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 in August, Ortiz could serve as another stepping stone for the former Brazilian champion's path to another shot at the UFC light heavyweight championship.
A fight between Ortiz and Griffin would have even more leverage behind it than a fight between Ortiz and Rua. Ortiz and Griffin have already fought twice, but each fighter earned a split decision victory in those two bouts.
Assuming a title shot is not available for Griffin should he defeat Rua, a rubber match with Ortiz would generate plenty of buzz, as both fighters look to make unlikely runs to recapture a light heavyweight title.
Winner of Rich Franklin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Rich Franklin and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira are also slated to meet in August at UFC 133. Although both fighters are coming off losses, the winner of this fight will be in a very similar position as Ortiz.
While a fight between Ortiz and Nogueira would be interesting, a bout between Ortiz and Franklin could be sold as two former champions looking to make one final run at greatness.
No matter which fighter it is, the winner of this fight between Franklin and Nogueira would appear to be the most likely opponent for Ortiz's next appearance.
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