After suffering consecutive strike-based stoppages in his last two bouts Tito Ortiz confirmed he’d come to the end of his run inside the Octagon and would be calling it quits after one final match-up with Forrest Griffin. An iconic former champion, the losses seemingly forced the 37-year old light heavyweight to recognize he could no longer compete at a high enough level to meet his own expectations.
However, it appears a convincing win over Griffin at UFC 148 could convince Ortiz otherwise.
“I may have another one… you never know,” said Ortiz in an interview with ESPN before pointing out other avenues he’s considered including on a fellow former UFC title-holder has recently returned to. “I’ve got a lot of options. I’ve seen Brock Lesnar go back to the WWE, that’s something I may entertain, do some ‘theatrical entertainment’ as they call it. I’ve got my clothing company, my supplement line Punishment Nutrition, it’s business to me. I’m not going to be able to fight for the rest of my life and I want to leave on my terms.”
While the allure of “one more fight” may intrigue Ortiz, until otherwise inspired, “The People’s Champion” is still planning on retiring after his July 7 meeting with Griffin regardless of outcome. Though he’s been in other big fights against rival competitors, Ortiz is approaching the bout in a different way based on how much the fight means to him.
Win and he closes out his storied career on a memorable high note, lose and he finishes his career on a three-fight slide (not to mention a 2-7-1 record in his final ten tussles).
“It’s my final hurrah, Forrest brings the best out of me and vice-versa,” explained Ortiz, adding a prediction for fireworks befitting of the holiday weekend. “This one ranks right at the top. This is over Chuck Liddell or Ken Shamrock because this is my last fight,”