UFC 132 Fight Card: Ryan Bader vs. Tito Ortiz, an Early Head-to-Toe Breakdown
Tito Ortiz has not won a fight since 2006.
I feel like it's necessary to say that right off the top. Not only has he not won a fight since 2006, but his two most recent victories were over an irrelevant Ken Shamrock. Before the Shamrock fights, his last two victories were split decisions.
Needless to say, there's really no reason Tito Ortiz should still be fighting in the UFC, but he is. However, Dana White has gone on record saying that if Ortiz loses his next fight against Ryan Bader, he will be cut.
Ryan Bader's position going into this fight is not as dire as Tito's, but it is an important fight for him.
Bader is coming off a loss to Jon Jones. Jones dominated the fight and so Bader needs to look impressive against Ortiz to make up for that loss. A loss for Ryan here would be devastating. Ortiz is considered by most to be an irrelevant fighter who is clinging on too long, so if Bader loses, it's going to look really bad for him.
Both fighters need this victory badly, but only one man can have it.
Let's see how these two stack up...
Ortiz has the advantage experience wise, no doubt. Out of his 24 fights, 23 of them have been in the UFC. Tito has been fighting since 1997 and has faced some of the best in the world. He has also dealt with the pressure of being in the main event and championship fights.
Ryan has faced some very tough opponents and has been in a co-main event, but his experience level is nowhere near Ortiz.
Edge: Tito Ortiz
Before his loss to Jones, Bader had gone to the third round four times in a row. In all of those fights, he was still looking reasonably fresh at the end.
Ortiz at one point in his career was a cardio freak, emphasis on "at one point." Tito's cardio looked terrible in his second fight with Forrest Griffin. By the third round, Tito was so tired that he was little more than a punching bag for Griffin.
Bader's cardio isn't off the charts, but given how bad Tito's has looked lately, I would say Bader will have the advantage.
Edge: Ryan Bader
Ortiz has never been much of a stand up fighter. Every one of his knockout victories has come via ground and pound. Generally, if Tito can't get the fight to the ground, he is going to lose.
Bader doesn't have exceptional hands, but he is a competent striker. More than that, he has huge power in his right hand.
Ryan's last win in the Octagon was over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Now, Bader won the fight mostly using his wrestling, but he did okay in the striking department. He wasn't able to out-box Antonio, but he did hold his own.
In short, Tito's boxing is mediocre and Bader's is pretty good; plus Bader has knockout power and Ortiz does not.
Edge: Ryan Bader
This one is a close call.
Tito has been TKO'd before, but only twice and both times it was by a prime Chuck Liddell. Ortiz has faced several other dangerous strikers in his career, such as Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva, and none have been able to put him away.
Bader has never been knocked out. In his fights with Rodrigo Nogueira and Jones, he ate some big shots, but neither fighter could put him away (with strikes, Jones did submit him).
Tough decision, but I'm giving it to Bader. If his chin could withstand the punches of Nogueira and Jones, then it'll take Tito's too.
Edge: Ryan Bader
Both these fighters are primarily wrestlers; wrestling is their bread and butter.
As far as amateur wrestling goes, both men were very successful and both were state champs.
If they were both in their primes, the grappling in this matchup would likely be very even.
That being said, Tito is definitely not in his prime. In his last fight, Tito was unable to out-wrestle Matt Hamill, which he would have done easily in his prime (Hamill's wrestling is really overrated).
I think Ryan is going to be too young and strong for Tito.
Edge: Ryan Bader
Honestly, both of these guys have terrible submission skills.
Tito has two submission victories to his name. One was with a neck crank, the other was with knees. Ortiz just never really goes for submissions and tends to focus on ground and pound. He did almost catch Lyoto Machida with a triangle choke at the end of their fight, but I think was only because Machida didn't think in a million years that Ortiz would go for a triangle.
Bader isn't much better. He has only one submission victory in his career by submission. In his fight against Eric Schafer, Ryan had many dominant positions and several times had great chances to go for a submission, but didn't take them. Or maybe, he didn't even see that they were there.
Let's face it, folks, Ortiz is going to need a miracle if he wants to win this one.
If Tito couldn't take Matt Hamill down, he is not going to be able to take Ryan Bader down.
If he can't take Bader down, it's going to be a long night for him.
Tito is getting old is his body isn't what it used to be.
Bader is still a young, strong man, and he is more well rounded than Ortiz, frankly.
It's mostly a matter of whether or not Bader can finish Tito. Given that Tito has a pretty good chin and Ryan doesn't have much in the way of submission skills, I think Tito can hold out and lose a decision.
Winner: Ryan Bader via Unanimous Decision