By Chase Raymond:
When Tito Ortiz steps into the octagon at UFC 148 on July 7th 2012 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, expect to hear no boo’s, no silence, and see no one in their seats. The one time “Huntington Beach bad boy” and now self proclaimed “Peoples Champ” will be making his electrifying entrance for the last time. Tito has said this is his last fight and then he’s retiring. It’s going to be bitter sweet for me, and all the true fans of MMA, because yes Tito is right, its time. All though we wont get to see one of the best light heavyweight fighters and fight sellers of all time again, his impact on the sport and UFC will live on forever.
Tito Ortiz has not only helped build the UFC from his first fight at UFC 13 in 1997, but he has built his team punishment brand into one of the most popular brands in all of mixed martial arts. The “Peoples Champ” has helped build some of the most popular fighters from his time as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 3 and 11. Tito is also seen by many as the guy who made the “ground and pound” technique famous by using his expert wrestling and vicious elbow’s to punish his way to the UFC light heavyweight championship. His run as champion was from April 14, 2000 until September 26, 2003. Tito was then, is now, and will always be one of the best light heavyweight fighters in UFC history.
There’s not another fighter in the history of MMA that sold the fight like Tito, or that could inspire your emotions like Tito. Whether you agreed or disagreed with what he had to say, Tito made you feel personally vested in the fight. He knew how to say the right things to get into guys heads and get them off their game plan. Now many try to copy his method, and fighters from now until the end of time will continue to because they know how successful Tito Ortiz was at it. The problem with that is, The Huntington Beach Bad boy backed it up. If he said you would be a bloody mess by the end of the fight, guess what, 9 times out of 10 you were. His trademark shirt with tag lines for the specific fights he was in is another reason Tito was a one and only. If you took a list of the best light heavyweights in MMA ever, you can bet that the HBB has fought against most of them.
All though his record as of late isn’t one to brag about, when Tito Ortiz defeated Ryan Bader at UFC 132 by submission on that emotional night, we all again believed that there was one more title run left for Mr. Ortiz. Then when he took the fight against Rashad Evans the very next month for a number one contender match, even the biggest Tito haters found themselves chanting “Tito, Tito, Tito.” After the fight was over and Tito Ortiz had fallen, we all remembered why we loved watching Tito Ortiz; it was because of his heart, his champions spirit and most of all because The Huntington Beach bad boy always did what he did for us, the fans. He never fought for another organization other then UFC and showed his loyalty and the fact that he fought for the love of the sport and for all MMA fans, whether you loved him or hated him, we can all agree, MMA will miss Tito Ortiz.Tags: featured, MMA NEWS, Strikeforce, strikeforce news, ufc news, UFC on FOX, UFC on FOX 2, ufc on fox 3, UFC on Fuel, UFC on FX