Tito Ortiz. Mention that name to any MMA fan and ask them the first fight they think of, and you'll always get a wide variety of answers. Chuck Liddell finishing him twice. The first fight with Forrest Griffin. The controversial draw with Rashad Evans. Or for longtime fans, the war with Frank Shamrock might be the answer. Ortiz has been around a long time, but but he swears that he's not done yet."The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" was given the opportunity to write a a blog on ESPN, and the first part was posted today. The self-professed "Last of the Mohicans" had a lot to say, as usual. First, he justifies his position in the sport with a history lesson:
Check my record ... you won’t find any "gimmie" opponents anywhere on it, from my 1997 debut all the way up to my July 2 fight with top-5 contender Ryan Bader at UFC 132 in Las Vegas. I’ve fought the best of two or three eras: Guy Mezger, Evan Tanner, Wanderlei Silva, Ken Shamrock, Vladimir Matyushenko, Vitor Belfort -- all the way through Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, to the guys who are at the very top right now like Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin. I’ve been at the very top and I stayed at the top for a lot longer than anyone before or since.
His idea of a "gimmie opponent" is different than mine apparently, because a 42-year-old Ken Shamrock that was 2-5 in his last 7 before their second fight in 2006 seems like a gimmie to me. Anyway, after a few paragraphs where he tries to say that he thinks he beat Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin, he does offer up a bit of honesty in regards to his loss to Matt Hamill at UFC 121:
My last fight, against Matt Hamill in October, I lost. It was totally my bad; I didn’t prepare for his takedowns because I didn’t think he’d be able to take me down. Real dumb, my bad, and I am still pissed at myself.
But Tito wants to make it clear - he's not going anywhere:
I’m honest with myself, and when it is time, I will go. At 36, that day when I will walk away is coming. It’s coming soon; I know that and I’ve come to accept that. But it is not yet. I know I could have all kinds of wins if I was fighting different types of opponents, but I am fighting the best opposition in the division.
And Ortiz explains what's going to happen in the UFC 132 fight with Ryan Bader:
I don’t want to go. I’m not going to go. I am going to push the pace and win this fight July 2. My back is right against wall. I’m coming out swinging.
The next two parts should be interesting, since he covered his entire career in the first one already.