A PIONEER AND LEGEND, ORTIZ, SETS RETIREMENT DATE
Tito Ortiz has announced he will retire following his bout with Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170.
The former longtime UFC Light Heavyweight Champion made the announcement via Twitter and directed yet another slight at the UFC in reference to cancelling the UFC 208 card. “I want to thank @DanaWhite and @UFC for not putting an event the same night of my final fight!”
Ortiz rose to prominence after capturing the UFC Light Heavyweight Title in 1999 and was part of several high profile feuds that included Ken Shamrock, Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, and even UFC President Dana White. He held the title for four years, and defended it a then-record five times.
Although he announced his retirement from the UFC in 2012, Ortiz signed a contract with Bellator in 2014 and enjoyed moderate success defeating Alexander Schlemenko and Stephan Bonnar.
Bellator 170 takes place Jan. 21 with Ortiz vs. Sonnen headlining.
Cervantes Analysis: Ortiz has been around since the earliest days of the sport and was one of the most prolific fighters of his time. The combination of trash talk and skill made him one of the first MMA fighters to effectively sell fights because of his incendiary comments or actions. His turbulent relationship with the UFC and fellow fighters always made for solid entertainment and competitive bouts, often spanning several years. He’s also been marred with several injuries that have required major surgery and he hasn’t been nearly as exciting or successful against top competition in nearly a decade. I wish him all the best in life after fighting and hopes he remains retired this time around.
SATURDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Ariel Helwani reported that the UFC has parted ways with Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes, both of whom held executive level positions.
-Conor McGregor gave an interview at the Devenish Bar in Belfast in which he clarified that Floyd Mayweather called him out and is now uninterested in a boxing match with McGregor.
-Wanderlei Silva has dropped out of his fight with Mirko “Cro Cop” at Rizin without any explanation, as reported by MMAFighting.
-Former UFC Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza announced on Instagram that she is selling the motorcycle she was gifted for winning The Ultimate Fighter due to financial struggles.
(Jonathan Cervantes has been an avid fan of MMA since 2009 when he saw GSP vs. B.J. Penn 2. He has practiced tae kwon do, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling in the past and is currently a student majoring in entrepreneurship at the University of San Francisco. He writes the MMATorch News Digest on Fridays and Saturdays. Michael Hiscoe writes MMATorch News Digests Sunday through Thursday each week.)