Tito Ortiz won more than the fight, renewed respect and career breathing room with his stunning UFC 132 victory Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” also took home at least $525,000, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
By contrast, Ortiz's opponent, Ryan “Darth” Bader, earned $20,000.
Ortiz's total take is not known because the UFC does not release the amount of its bonuses paid to fighters.
But you'd think that his winning his first bout in the octagon in five years, achieving his first victory by submission in 11 years, and doing so decisively after being given the win-or-retire ultimatum from UFC President Dana White would also at least temporarily earn him this: the silence the naysayers.
5thRound.com's Tom Ngo has heard from detractors who “noticed it took the former light heavyweight champ a tad too long to release the hold” around Bader's throat.
“I had an out-of-body experience,” Ortiz reportedly explained at the post-fight press
conference. “It's like I was watching myself do it. Everything was in
slow-mo. It was kind of like in The Matrix. It was weird. For the
first time, everything was super, super slow.
“I didn't want to let go because I wasn't sure what was going on
because like I said, I had an out-of-body experience. I didn't know how
to react. I was like, 'I'm not letting go until the referee rips me
off.' I don't mean to hold on to a submission longer than I was supposed
to, but I wasn't letting go. I wanted to win. I'm like an animal out
Despite unleashing that animal, other critics are already wondering what Ortiz, who improved his
professional record to 16-8-1, can possibly do for a follow-up. But he didn't sound too worried about it at the same press conference.
“The surgeries I've done, athletes don't come back,” he noted. “They're done. Not
me. I have too much drive. I'm healthy now. I feel
great. Once again, I'm going to leave my career in my hands.
“I want to fight top guys. I want to fight guys with big names. I
want to give fans want they want to see. I want the biggest fights in