Fans have speculated for years over when former UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz would retire.
With only one victory in his last seven fights, "the Huntington Beach Bad Boy" knows that the end is near. Now, he has a date set in stone.
This mark is significant for Ortiz as it commemorates his journey within mixed martial arts, a career that helped bring this once underground spectacle to the forefront of the sports world.
"That'll be 15 years," Ortiz said. "15 years has been my goal. I make it to 15 years, that'd be my second fight, finishing this contract".
For the former champion, the grind of being a professional fighter has taken its toll on Ortiz, with his family and health now his primary focus.
"Maybe it's time to hang up the gloves, walk away while I'm still healthy", Ortiz said. "I don't want to get any more surgeries. I have three boys. I have a family to take care of. I've made enough money to take care of my family now".
Having fought for the UFC in all but one of his professional bouts, Ortiz has had an illustrious career inside the Octagon, filled with accolades and legendary moments that helped define the sport.
One of the longest reigning champions in UFC history, Ortiz has faced nearly everyone and has no lingering aspirations.
"What else do I got to prove?" Ortiz said. "I don't have to prove anything else in this MMA world."
Facing Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at this weekend's event in Toronto, Ortiz is not looking past his upcoming opponent but he does have an idea on who he'd like to face in his farewell bout.
"My last fight I would love to be against Forrest [Griffin]," he said. "I think I deserve that. I beat him the first time. The second time we fought, I beat him and they gave it to him. Let's do three of a kind."
With a game plan set in place to end his career, Ortiz has no desire to go any further in fear of going the route of others in the sport who fought past their prime.
" I don't want to disrespect the sport", Ortiz said. "I don't want to stay over my welcome. I want to make sure I walk away healthy. It's a family decision for me".
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