Tito Ortiz entered the octagon on Saturday, July 2, with a record of 0-4-1 in his five previous fights. The former UFC light heavyweight champion also had the sword of UFC president Dana White hanging over his head, as White had said a loss at UFC 132 would mean the end of Ortiz's UFC career.
When the cage locked behind Ortiz and his opponent, Ryan Bader, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" made quick work of Bader. Ortiz showed his hands could still do damage, as a big right hand put the heavily favored Bader to the ground. Once he had Bader stunned, Ortiz clamped on a guillotine choke that forced Bader to tap out at the 1:56 mark of the first round.
The submission victory gave Ortiz his first win since he defeated Ken Shamrock in 2006. The choke was also the first submission stoppage for Ortiz in over 10 years. His last submission came at UFC 29 when he used a neck crank to stop Yuki Kondo.
In addition to saving his UFC career, the win over Bader also gave Ortiz "Submission of the Night" honors and a bonus check of $75,000.
After the fight Ortiz expressed the desire to keep facing the top fighters in the UFC's light heavyweight division, saying he would be interested in facing the winner of the upcoming Forrest Griffin versus Mauricio "Shogun" Rua bout that is scheduled to take place at UFC 134 in Rio.
Should Tito Ortiz Retire Now?
While it's understandable Ortiz would want to keep fighting, another option that has not been mentioned by Ortiz, but should strongly be considered, is retirement.
Ortiz is coming off a huge victory. Over the course of his career, he has accomplished more than most MMA fighters could ever dream about. He has fought the top competition in the UFC for most of his career and remains one of the UFC's more popular fighters.
If Ortiz elected to leave the UFC right now, it would be the perfect time. It would be on his terms, after a huge victory in a fight most fans and pundits gave him little chance of winning. The time would be right.
If Ortiz chooses to fight on, he may very well be the next fighter who White discusses having to pull a "Chuck Liddell" on.