Bellator is trying to keep Tito Ortiz healthy going into his next fight. The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz is no stranger when it comes to injuries.
On July 31, 2013 it was announced that Ortiz will come out of retirement to face former training partner and fellow former UFC Light heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson on November 2, 2013 at Bellator 106. But on October 25, it was announced that Ortiz suffered a neck injury and had to pull out of his fight with Jackson.
So with Ortiz set to face Alexander Shlemenko on May 17, 2014 at Bellator 120, Bellator officials were not going to take any chances on Ortiz getting hurt before this fight.
“I think Bjorn Rebney went above and beyond. He got whomever the doctor was that Tito got approved by. And then Bjorn got an independent specialist to come in and take a look and make sure that that diagnosis was correct and that Tito was physically fit to fight,” Spike TV president Kevin Kay recently told MMAWeekly.com.
It should be noted that, Ortiz was supposed to retire back on July 7, 2012, which he lost to Forrest Griffin via unanimous decision, but came out of retirement to join Bellator MMA.
“He is 100-percent fit to fight is my understanding. I think nobody wanted him in there, him, us, Bellator, unless we were absolutely certain that he’s in good shape, and he is. The rest is up to Tito. He’s got to train. He’s got to get in there,” added Kay.
Ortiz (16–11–1) is 39 years of age, he is 2-7-1 in his last ten MMA fights. He has won a single fight in his last four fights which was against Ryan Bader, which he beat via guillotine choke back in July of 2011. Since then he has dropped 3 fights, 2 of those have came by knockout.