Ahead of last night’s UFC 148 rubber match with Forrest Griffin, Tito Ortiz was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at the UFC Fan Expo. While Tito would eventually lose a unanimous decision in an all out brawl, his seventh loss in his last nine fights, he showed that the while the body was unable, the heart was more than willing.
Ortiz, to this day, stands as the longest reigning champion in the UFC’s darling division, light heavyweight. His long storied rivalries with Chuck Liddell, Ken Shamrock, and the aforementioned Forrest Griffin remain a major part of the promotion’s young history.
An emotional Ortiz, took the podium at the Fan Expo, before stepping away from the sport as a man who was paramount to its development, reminding fans of all he’s given the sport.
“I put my heart, soul and body into this sport. I’ve had ACL surgery, back surgery, neck surgery, a meniscus tear. When people ask me, ‘Why you retiring?’ I’m retiring because it’s time.
I’ve done everything I wanted to do. My number one goal was to be the best fighter ever in the Octagon. I think I can hold hands with many who can stake that claim.”
Ortiz can stake claim to being in the company of greats in the UFC Hall of Fame including: Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Mark Coleman, and Charles “Mask” Lewis.