Octagon Insider: Tito Ortiz Talks About Return – In April 2019, MMA fighter Tito Ortiz signed a multi-fight agreement with Combate Americas. On July 9th, 2019, it was announced that Ortiz’s debut opponent would be former WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio. The two will square off at a Combate Americas event in Hidalgo, Texas on December 7th, 2019. Ortiz spoke with Russ Cohen about the upcoming fight.
Tito Ortiz – MMA Biography
Ortiz made his MMA debut at UFC 13 in 1997. He defeated Wes Albritton by referee stoppage at 0:31 in the first round. In 1999, Ortiz fought Frank Shamrock for what is now known as the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 22. Ortiz would lose that fight via submission due to strikes. Shamrock retried after the victory and would vacate the championship. The Middleweight division was officially renamed the Light Heavyweight division and Tito Ortiz was chosen, along with Wanderlei Silva as a top contender. Ortiz would defeat Silva for the vacant championship at UFC 25 via unanimous decision. He would go on to defend the Light Heavyweight Title a then-recrod five times in the following three years.
Randy Couture would end Otriz’s nearly three and a half year title reign at UFC 43 via unanimous decision. Following the loss, Ortiz faced Chuck Liddell at UFC 47, losing by TKO in the second round. Ortiz would take six months off before returning at UFC 50 to defeat Patrick Cote via unanimous decision. After a split decision versus Vitor Belfort at UFC 51, Ortiz chose to take some time away from the sport. He appeared on The Ultimate Fighter 3 reality series on Spike TV as a coach.
Ortiz made his return at UFC 59 against previous The Ultimate Fighter 1 winner Forrest Griffin. He won via split decision. His next fight came at UFC 61 against UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock. Ortiz would defeat Shamrock in the first round via TKO due to strikes. The two would rematch at UFC 62 with Ortiz winning in the first round due to strikes. Ortiz faced another rematch at UFC 66, this time with Chuck Liddell for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. The fight ended in Ortiz’s defeat via referee stoppage in the third round.
After a break from 2008-2009, Ortiz returned to the UFC on a six-fight deal in July 2009. After some dropouts due to injury, his initial opponent in his return would be Forrest Griffin. Griffin would win the fight at UFC 106 via split decision. Ortiz would go on to struggle in his next few fights until he secured a career saving win over Ryan Bader at UFC 132. He defeated Bader via submission in the first round, earning his first victory since 2006. The win earned him “Submission of the Night” honors.
Ortiz would face Forrest Griffin for a third time at UFC 148. Before the fight, Ortiz was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. He would end up losing in a “Fight of the Night” winning performance despite landing two knockdowns and two takedowns to Griffin’s zero. Folowing the loss, Ortiz retired from MMA.
He would eventually return in 2013 to face former training partner and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson at Bellator 106 on November 2nd, 2013. Unfortunately, Ortiz would have to drop out of the fight due to injury. Ortiz would officially return and face Bellator Middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 120. He won via first round submission. On September 19th, 2015, Ortiz faced Liam McGeary for the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship. He would lose the fight via submission in the first round.
After another retirement, Ortiz re-emerged in 2018 to announce his third fight with rival Chuck Liddell. The fight was put on by Golden Boy Productions and took place on November 24th, 2018 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Ortiz earned his first win over Liddell via knockout in the third round.
Ortiz is now set to face former WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio on December 7th at a Combate Americas event in Hidalgo, Texas.
Collectors looking for Tito Ortiz’s MMA cards can find them in Topps UFC sets dating back to 2010.
Octagon Insider: Tito Ortiz Talks About Return – Image Gallery
Octagon Insider: Tito Ortiz Talks About Return – More Resources
- UFC.com Fighter Profile – Tito Ortiz
- Tito Ortiz – Secondary Market Pricing
- Official Website – Tito Ortiz
- Follow Tito Ortiz on Twitter @titoortiz
- Tito Ortiz’s YouTube Channel
Russ Cohen is the author of several top-selling sports related books.
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