Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz is looking to make a return to MMA, and believes he’s identified the perfect opponent.
Ortiz, a 34-fight mixed martial arts veteran, hasn’t entered the cage since 2019. Across his last three bouts, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” defeated a trio of notable names. After besting Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170, Ortiz completed his trilogy (regrettably, in the eyes of many) with longtime rival Chuck Liddell under the banner of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
His third consecutive win and latest appearance came against former WWE star Alberto Del Rio, whom the former UFC champion submitted in round one via rear-naked choke at Combate Americas 51.
Despite being inactive for over two years, aside from a brutal knockout loss to Anderson Silva in the ring last year, and largely turning his attention to politics in the period since his last MMA fight, Ortiz is back in training and looking to throw down with the presence of some surrounding steel.
And despite a rocky relationship with the UFC, which once saw him claim that he’d never fight in the promotion ever again, the 47-year-old is looking to bid farewell to the Octagon with one final walk to it.
Ortiz Targets UFC Swansong Versus A Legend
During a recent interview with Helen Yee, Ortiz admitted that he’d like to end his career in the UFC, pitching a potential double-retirement fight with fellow former light heavyweight titleholder Maurício “Shogun” Rua.
“It’s never over. I think I made that mistake with UFC when I said, ‘I’ll never fight for the UFC ever again,'” said Ortiz. “Now I think about it, that’d be an amazing last fight for myself and for Shogun Rua. I know Shogun has his last fight with the UFC, we’re in kind of the same era, so it’d be nice to see Tito Ortiz vs. Shogun. I’d like that.
“I have a lot of respect for Shogun, I think he’s an amazing former champion, an amazing fighter. I watched his last fight, I thought he won but they ended up giving it to ‘OSP.’ So, I don’t know, let’s see what happens in the future,” concluded Ortiz.
Rua was recently in action at the UFC 274 pay-per-view on May 7. After a largely unentertaining main-card rematch against Ovince Saint-Preux, the Brazilian fell on the wrong side of a split decision verdict, marking back-to-back losses for Shogun for the first time since 2014.
Having not been badly beaten or looked unfit to fight, UFC President Dana White confirmed that the 40-year-old will be given the opportunity to fight out his contract, which has just one bout remaining.
Could it be against Tito Ortiz? We’ll let you decide if that’s a desirable matchup.
How do you think a fight between Tito Ortiz and Shogun Rua would play out?