Tito Ortiz: 5 Fights We Have to See Before He Retires
Tito Ortiz was 15-4 heading into his December 2006 meeting with Chuck Liddell.
Since that point, The Huntington Beach Bad Boy has generally looked like a shell of his former self, going 1-5 (1) in his past seven fights.
However, even after getting TKO’ed by Rashad Evans at UFC 133, Ortiz was very clear in stating that he has absolutely no intentions of retiring.
And UFC President Dana White said that he has no intention to cut Ortiz after the loss, so it seems quite apparent that the Team Punishment member will have at least one more fight under the UFC banner.
So who would we love to see Ortiz fight before the 36-year-old hangs up the gloves for good?
Check out five of the most intriguing fights Ortiz should sign up for prior to calling it a career.
5. Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva is generally considered a top 10 light heavyweight, but the biggest win on his resume was a knockout win over Keith Jardine in August of 2009.
It looked like the hard-hitting Brazilian was once again climbing the ranks after a definitive victory over Brandon Vera at UFC 125.
However, the decision was overturned to a no-contest and Silva was suspended after it was determined that he falsified a urine sample.
Silva would jump at the chance to have a well known opponent in his return fight, and Ortiz has never been one to turn down a challenge.
Both fighters are recognized for having some of the heaviest ground and pound in MMA; the question is, who could bring the fight down to the mat first?
4. Stephan Bonnar
In all seriousness, when’s the last time The American Psycho was involved in a boring fight?
The first runner-up from The Ultimate Fighter Bonnar is known for pushing the pace and putting on entertaining fights win or lose.
This is why he is a tremendous fan favorite, and an interesting matchup for Ortiz.
Bonnar’s wrestling has always been his biggest weakness, so a strong wrestler like Ortiz would definitely be working for the takedown relentlessly.
However, would Ortiz’s power and top control be enough to keep Bonnar, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, from hitting sweeps or locking up a submission from the bottom?
Seeing how Bonnar’s granite chin holds up against Ortiz’s often unmatched ground and pound could be intriguing as well.
Also, if Bonnar is able to turn the fight into a bloody standup war, the fight easily swings into his favor.
3. Alexander Gustaffson
The Mauler showed that he is one of the UFC’s best kept secrets when he stopped Matt Hamill in the second round of their UFC 133 battle.
It is also worth mentioning that Hamill soundly defeated Ortiz by decision less than a year ago.
At just 24 years old, the Swedish brawler showed that he is ready for a serious step up competition as he improved his win steak to three and boasts a 12-1 record overall.
Gustafsson showed great takedown defense against one of the most accredited wrestlers in the sport in Phil Davis, so Ortiz would definitely have his hands full trying to secure the takedown.
Like Bonnar, Gustafsson has also shown that he can be both dish out and take a substantial amount of punishment.
And that is not to mention that this fight would be a great “new school vs. old school” bout to determine if Gustafsson is truly ready for the next level…and if Ortiz still belongs there.
2. Rich Franklin
Two former champions (albeit in separate divisions) with a number of common opponents could finally square off in the Octagon in what would promise to be an exciting fight.
Ace has finished his opponent 25 times in 28 career victories, while Ortiz has ended the fight early 11 times in 16 career wins.
Franklin has also not looked like the dominant force he once was in recent memory, going 2-3 in his past five fights.
Setting up a bout with Franklin and Ortiz would settle once and for all which aging star has some gas left in the tank, and who is ready to watch from the sidelines full time.
1. Dan Henderson
Who doesn’t want to see one of the best Pride fighters of all time square off against a pioneer not just for the UFC, but for the entire sport?
Henderson vs. Ortiz pits two of the most respected veterans of the game opposite one another in a fight that promises fireworks.
The two fighters bring similar styles to the cage, except for the fact that Henderson could end the fight at any time with one of his patented “H-bombs.”
Henderson has not fought in the UFC in a little over two years and Ortiz would be a significant upgrade over a large portion of the Strikeforce talent at 205.
Ortiz vs. Henderson would certainly be one for the record books, regardless of who the victor is.