It's been a pretty good year for Tito Ortiz.
The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion is finally injury free and competing at the level that is expected from a man who once held a UFC belt.
At UFC 132, Ortiz earned his first victory inside the UFC since defeating Ken Shamrock way back in 2006. He defeated the highly favored Ryan Bader by first-round guillotine choke after rocking the young competitor with a big right hand.
The victory was huge for Tito, as it allowed him to keep his job and earned him the respect of the fans once again.
An interesting opportunity presented itself to the Huntington Beach Bad Boy after UFC 132.
Rashad Evans was scheduled to meet Phil Davis in the main event of UFC 133, but Davis was forced to pull out due to injury. The UFC offered Phil's spot to Tito and he accepted.
Now barely a month after his victory over Ryan Bader Tito is set to face Rashad Evans at UFC 133.
Was it a good idea for Ortiz to take this fight?
Yes. Tito is coming off a win, but it was his first in five years. Before that win he was very close to losing his job and a loss to Evans could put Ortiz right back into that position.
Even if Tito's job isn't at stake, he still runs the risk of immediately losing all of the momentum he built up after defeating Bader.
While the risks may be great, the potential rewards may be greater.
The UFC did not intend on giving Ortiz this big of an opponent right after his win over Ryan. He got the fight via circumstance and a win over Rashad would catapult Tito right into the title mix. Without this fight, it would take Ortiz much longer to reach that level in the division.
Basically, Tito has a lot to lose and a lot to gain.
Ryan has done well in the UFC, but Rashad is a former champion and one the division's elite. Evans has only lost once in his career and has defeated the likes of Quinton Jackson, Thiago Silva and Forrest Griffin.
There is a chance that Ortiz may have done himself a disservice by only giving himself five weeks to prepare for a fighter of Evans' caliber.
However, Tito just fought and should be coming into this one fresh while Evans is coming off a 14 month lay off. It's a definite possibility that he could be suffering from ring rust.
Win or lose, the UFC owes Tito for stepping in at the last minute—a good thing for Ortiz since his relationship with the promotion has been somewhat strained during the past several years.
Ultimately, we won't know if Ortiz made a mistake taking this fight until the fight actually happens.
If he wins, it was a good move. If he loses, it was a huge mistake
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