Perhaps one of the most surprising upsets in UFC history took place back in 2011 at UFC 132. At the time, Ryan Bader was a young, hungry, up-and-coming light heavyweight who had recently won The Ultimate Fighter. Tito Ortiz, meanwhile, was a veteran on his last legs and seemed destined for retirement. Or so we thought.
Defying the odds, Ortiz finished Bader by submission that night in what remains to this day arguably the most impressive victory of Ortiz’ career. While it was an embarrassing night for Bader, he has since transformed himself into an elite light heavyweight and heavyweight in MMA, currently holding both belts in Bellator. Ortiz, meanwhile, still remains relevant to this day despite being in his mid 40s.
The first fight between Bader and Ortiz was eight years ago. Now, in 2019, Ortiz says he’s willing to give Bader the chance at redemption.
“Let’s give that chance back to Bader. I am willing to give him the chance,” Ortiz told Ariel Helwani (transcription by MMA Mania). “The kid deserves it. He’s a hard-working man, he’s the champ. I respect him, and I think Ryan Bader is an awesome human being, awesome fighter, awesome father. I look up to the guy and respect him for being champion. Let’s get in there and try number two and see if I was lucky the first time.”
The only problem with booking is a rematch right now is that Ortiz is currently signed to Combates Americas while Bader is of course contracted to Bellator. To his end, Ortiz says he is open to doing a cross-promotion between the two organizations.
“I would possibly like to do a cross-promotion, this is something that I’d like to talk to Campbell McLaren about,” Ortiz said. “Let’s do a cross-promotion. I know Ryan Bader is the champion at heavyweight and light heavyweight. Let’s do a cross promotion, let’s do the rematch.”
Who knows, maybe eight years later after Ortiz upset Bader we’ll actually end up seeing the rematch between these two.
Would you be interested in a Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader rematch?