Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz square off during the UFC 148 press conference at the XS Nightclub in the Encore Hotel on Thursday, July 5, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nev. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
In the semi main event of UFC 148, former Light Heavyweight champions meet as Forrest Griffin (18-7; 9-5 UFC) faces Tito Ortiz (16-10-1; 15-10-1 UFC). This is the final fight in their trilogy, as they currently stand 1-1 against each other. The USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings currently have Griffin as the #11 Light Heavyweight in the world and Ortiz at #15, though, to be honest, neither man is really a contender at this point. The UFC 148 PPV card airs live Saturday night July 7 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
The big story of this fight is not simply that it will wrap up the Ortiz vs. Griffin trilogy, but also that it will wrap up the career of Tito Ortiz. The 15 year UFC veteran's contract expires after this fight, and he has stated that it will be his last. Prior to the fight, Ortiz will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. It's a good fight for Ortiz to end his career on, as the two previous battles were both excellent contests, and Griffin feels like the one man Tito still has that sense of unfinished business with.
How do these two stack up?
Griffin: 33 years old | 6'3" | 77" reach
Ortiz: 37 years old | 6'2" | 74" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Forrest Griffin made his name in the now mythic fight with Stephan Bonnar at the first Ultimate Fighter finale. With that win, he became the poster fighter of the TUF generation, using a combination of skill and popularity to make it all the way to the Light Heavyweight title. But ever since his 2009 loss to Anderson Silva, he just hasn't been the same fighter. He's looked increasingly apathetic about fighting in every fight, and his last outing against Shogun Rua was not a good performance in any way. Griffin's been in enough wars to deserve a ton of respect, but you have to ask if he should be joining Ortiz in retirement here.
What else can you say about "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Tito Ortiz? A 15 year veteran who was, at one time, the most popular UFC fighter and the company's most dominant champion, Ortiz has had a tough time in recent years. Last year, he looked on the way out, but a surprise win over Ryan Bader gave a puff of life to his career. He's had a series of back injuries that have plagued him for years, and while he always brings the excitement, his body is just not in the shape to keep it going. I'll be sad to see him go, but it's the right move.
Why should you care?
Some people are against this fight, but those people have no heart. This is one of the UFC's all time greats going out for the last time. If you don't get goosebumps when he makes his entrance Saturday night, I've got nothing for you.
More UFC 148 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.