Tito Ortiz lost a unanimous decision to Matt Hamill on UFC 121 last night. That marks his fourth loss in five fights, with his last win being in 2006, against Ken Shamrock. Does the former long time light heavyweight champion still have a future with the UFC? Dana White isn't all that sure when he talked to Ariel Helwani about it:
Ariel Helwani: Are Tito Ortiz's days done inside the Octagon?
Dana White: I think going in to this fight, what everybody heard me talk about is that, we're going to find out -- this fight is going to see whether Tito Ortiz is still relevant in the 205lb division.
Ariel Helwani: What do you think? Is he?
Dana White: Did he win tonight? [shakes head]
Ariel Helwani: No, but maybe you liked something about him.
Dana White: He didn't win tonight, but did Tito look horrible? Tito didn't look horrible either. Tito went in there and lost. He's lost 4 out of his last 5... I don't hate Tito anymore, but it is what it is.
Dana also talked about it on ESPN MMA Live's UFC 121 post-fight show:
"I don't know the exact number, but he's lost like four in a row. And I think we know what happens when you lose four in a row in the UFC. This is the big leagues, man."
While Ortiz has said in the past that he wants to fight Chuck Liddell regardless of the outcome of his bout against Hamill, he knows that his future with the company rests on Dana's hands. The 35-year-old former champ though, feels that he still has a lot to offer and his career is far from over:
"I'm going to hop on the horse, I'm going to get back in the gym in about two weeks, and I'm going to get to a college and start wresting again because I'm healthy. That hunger is there. My heart hurts. My mind stays strong, but I'm going to get back. I'm going to continue on. It's a challenge."
"The first round, I didn't pull the trigger. I hit him with some shots, and I should have continued on. I took a year off, and that really matters. Having neck surgery, that really matters. But I'm proud of myself for even getting in here and competing against a person like Matt Hamill and how tough he is."
"It's not even close to the end of my career. The decision might be in Dana's hands, but I've gone through some surgeries that people don't come back (from). I feel great. Besides my face being a little sore, I feel fine. I have no more neck problems, no more back problems.
"I need to get back to wrestling. I need to get back to my roots. ... I'm not a quitter. I'm going to continue on. It sucks to lose because I let down a lot of my fans. I let down the UFC. I let down Dana, but I want to prevail... It sucks having losses, but I'm a person to suck it up and carry on. I've been in this game for 13 years. I still feel like I have a lot more in me."