I’ll keep this brief.
If only for one night, Tito Ortiz turned back the hands of time and reminded us how he helped push UFC bouts to a new level years ago. Ortiz was fighting for his legacy and most definitely for his job on Saturday night.
- He hadn’t won since his 2006 bout against Ken Shamrock and a forced retirement loomed had he lost.
- Ortiz had battled neck and back injuries for years and absorbed losses as a result.
- His strained relationship with Dana White certainly loomed in the background of this event.
Instead of bowing out and walking off into his other business ventures and training complexes, Ortiz took down Ryan Bader with a right hand and then submitted him with a guillotine. He earned a tasty $75,000 bonus for his effort with the “Submission of the Night.”
The crowd erupted and my Twitter and Facebook pages were instantly overloaded with messages about the outcome.
All of the most recent notes about Ortiz came outside of The Octagon. Yes, I watched his efforts on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” And, of course, everyone knows that he married former porn star Jenna Jameson and that they are parents of twins. Then, there was a highly-publicized and confusing 2010 domestic incident in Huntington Beach to the side for this purpose. Ortiz was charged with felony domestic violence, though the initial complaints were later recanted.
Enough about that. This piece is written to celebrate Ortiz’s return to the Win column and to bring back some of the memories (or perhaps to introduce the footage to new UFC aficionados) of those formative years of the UFC.
It was a night for everyone told “you’re old,” “you’re done,” or “you can’t compete,” in whatever circumstance – job, sports, school, etc.