The "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" took his place back in the octagon at UFC 121 and after his loss to former student Matt Hamill nobody knows what is next for Tito Ortiz.
Tito Ortiz can't be denied the status of one of UFC's ground builders and what has come of the sport today. Many may not like him as a person but they can't look past what he has done for the company. Tito arrived into The UFC in 1997 with his first opponent being Wes Albritton and picked up the TKO victory and made waves throughout the Lightweight Division.
Ortiz, two years into his career, went on to becoming the Lightweight Champion and then proceeded to defend it 5 straight times to the likes of Evan Tanner, Vladimir Matyushenko, and Ken Shamrock. Along with Ken Shamrock at the time he was one of the most known UFC fighters in the company. Ortiz's talent and physical strength was well known throughout the industry when MMA was not a sport that many were focused on.
As the years progressed his health struggled to keep up with the vigorous workouts he put his body through. With only a few months of surgery removed from neck surgery at UFC 121 he took on Matt Hamill with a sour result.
Ortiz tried to come out with a hard aggressive attack and Hamill avoided the flurry and mounted his own attack. The first round was a decent one for both but Tito didn't really have the flurry of offensive fire power he once had.
The later rounds Hamill used his excellent wrestling background to take advantage of Ortiz and didn't give much room for Ortiz to mount any kind of attack. Ortiz was visibly bruised and beaten after the fight and his UFC career could be very much in jeopardy.
The fact of the matter is that Ortiz has lost his 4 out of 5 fights with the other being a draw to Rashad Evans and his last win was in 2006 against Ken Shamrock. Dana White hasn't said what the plan is for him and not saying directly he did make a sublimely hint that Ortiz might be done after losing his 3rd straight fight.
The other issue is the price tag Ortiz carries with any fight he participates in. It is well known that he asks for a good amount of money for his fight contract and this might be a good enough reason for The UFC to let him go. Ortiz did say he was healthy from the training camp and during the fight yet it wasn't anything that made him stand out to make his next fight a sure thing. Sure health could be the issue but the other could have been the distractions that were outside of the cage.
Tito had a rough few weeks dealing with his girlfriend Jenna Jameson. First, her father passed away after being sick for a few weeks after triple bypass surgery. Then the two had their disagreements with Tito hinting that the two might separate. However, they reconciled and got back together a few weeks before his fight but the damage could have already been done.
These issues weren't immediately known and Ortiz with a huge twitter following expressed his feelings on his account and it looked to be affecting him more than many thought. It had to be tough for him to deal with training and preparing for his upcoming fight while his life was becoming an emotional roller coaster. That could have been a major factor on what occurred at UFC 121 and if things would have been different if these situations didn't occur.
Is Tito done fighting? With all he's done for the company and making it what it is today the thought is no. Many are asking for Tito/Liddell 3 and with Dana White putting a nix on that idea it seems The UFC is stuck a fork in the road. Do they release him and let him end his UFC career on a loss or do they bring him back for one more fight with a lower price tag and somebody that can make his possibly final fight a special one?
Ortiz no matter what you think about him is a man that will give you his heart and soul for a company and will tell you what is on his mind. With all he has done for the MMA sport he shouldn't be just thrown to the side for other fighters. Ortiz has overcome a lot lately dealing with surgeries, and emotional issues and hopefully with that out of his way he does get his one final fight that he deserves and makes the ending of his career a successful one.