The “Bad Boy of Huntington Beach” will be inducted into the Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Fame on July 6, according to UFC president Dana White.
Win or lose, after Tito Ortiz's UFC 148 fight the next night in Las Vegas, he is retiring from the octagon.
But if opponent Forrest Griffin loses, he is “retiring from life.”
Here's how Griffin put it to UFC.com:
“We're 1-1, we've had good fights. There's going to be some things that are tough to deal with. A good wrestler that comes down low, that comes with pressure, he's a tough guy to fight. He's still got a good overhand right, good shovel hook, he's got good punches, good knees, he's got a good Thai clinch. If you can stop him from coming forward, he's not so hard to fight. But when he's coming forward in that good stance, you can't tell if he's gonna throw a big bomb or shoot. . . . That's tough to deal with.”
“A lot of people ask me. They say 'Forrest, it's Tito's retirement fight. If you lose to Tito, are you going to retire?' If I lose to Tito, I'm going to retire from life . . . seriously.”
With White's announcement, 37-year-old Ortiz will join Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, Matt Hughes, Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock, late TapouT co-founder Charles “Mask” Lewis of Huntington Beach and Ortiz's longtime nemesis Chuck Liddell in the Hall of Fame.
Career highlights include:
- Defeating Wes Albritton in his 1997 UFC debut.
- Winning the light heavyweight title two years later by beating Wanderlei Silva.
- Defending the belt five straight times before losing it to Couture at UFC 44.
- A memorable loss to Liddell at UFC 66, which drew a live gate of $5.4 million, still the largest MMA gate in Nevada history.
- After a string of losses dating back to December 2006 and the threat his UFC contract would be spiked by White, upsetting Top-10 light heavyweight Ryan Bader at UFC 132.
Ortiz is coming off back-to-back defeats by Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira but, win or lose, the “Bad Boy of Huntington Beach” legend will live on.