UFC 133 Results: 5 Fights Tito Oritz Could Take to Bounce Back
As quickly as Tito Ortiz rose from the ashes, it appears he's falling just as quickly.
Tito took on Rashad Evans at UFC 133 in the main event of the evening, replacing an injured Phil Davis.
Ortiz was hoping to ride the momentum he built defeating Ryan Bader some five weeks ago, but things didn't exactly work out that way for The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.
Evans managed to dominate most of the fight and eventually finished Tito in the second round, hitting him with a huge knee to the stomach and following up with ground and pound. Ortiz failed to improve his position while Rashad was pounding on him and so the fight was stopped.
This loss puts Ortiz in a pretty precarious position, given that it was not so long ago that he was fighting just to keep his job.
Tito likely needs to win his next fight to avoid being cut and so he should be very selective about what fights he takes next.
Here are five fights that Ortiz could take next that would be relatively marketable and Tito would have a good chance of winning...
Forrest Griffin vs Tito Ortiz 3
Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz have fought twice before and both times they were very close fights and ended in split-decisions.
Griffin has always had some degree of difficulty stopping Ortiz' takedowns and now that Tito's back is feeling better, he should be able to take Forrest down even easier, which would give him the edge he needs to take a decisive victory this time.
Also, Forrest is a big name fighter, so there would definitely be some good hype around the fight.
However, I think the UFC would be hesitant to book this fight, considering that there are other fights out there for both guys and they've already fought twice.
Alexander Gustafsson vs Tito Ortiz
This fight is a little bit risky for Tito because Alexander Gustafsson isn't a very big name yet in the light heavyweight division and so a loss to him could be devastating.
That said, I think Ortiz matches up pretty well with Alexander.
Gustafsson has had difficulty against good wrestlers in the past, losing to Phil Davis by submission.
I believe that Tito could probably use his wrestling to control this fight and walk away the victor.
Also, Alexander is still a very young fighter, so I think Ortiz' massive edge experience-wise would work in his favor.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs Tito Ortiz
Lately, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has seemed to be on the decline. He's 1-2 in his last three fights and looked unimpressive in his victory over Jason Brilz.
Nogueira might be nearing the end of his career, but his name still carries some weight, and Tito would do well to take advantage of that.
Stylistically, Ortiz matches up well with Rogerio, who has consistently struggled with wrestlers since entering the UFC.
It is a somewhat dangerous fight for Tito, considering that Antonio's boxing is much better than his, but I think if Ortiz fought smart he could definitely pull out a decision.
Rich Franklin vs Tito Ortiz
This is one of the best fights Tito could take, as people are always excited to see Rich Franklin fight and a win over him still means a good deal.
Rich is still a very dangerous fighter, but he's small for a light heavyweight and, as we saw when he fought Forrest Griffin, he's susceptible to being bullied by the larger guys in the division.
Ortiz isn't a massive light heavyweight, but he definitely would have the size advantage over Rich, and I think he could use that extra muscle to bully Franklin and take a unanimous decision.
Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz
I know Dana White has said that he doesn't want to see Chuck Liddell in the Octagon ever again, but it's not out of the question that the UFC President would allow him back for one more fight.
There has been bad blood between Chuck and Tito for years and both have expressed an interest in fighting for a third time.
In fact, the two were supposed to fight for a third time after coaching a season of The Ultimate Fighter, but near the end of the show's filming, Ortiz was forced to pull out of the fight with a back injury.
That's the angle Liddell could play to get this fight: It was already supposed to happen and he never got his final crack at Tito.
If this fight were to be booked, I believe Ortiz would be favored to win, given how much Chuck has declined in the past few years.
Plus Liddell would be coming off a huge layoff, so ring rust would be a big factor.