Poor Tito. He went from carrying the UFC on his back to destroying his back to no one caring that he’s back. Now his bosses are telling him he’s done, and they’re probably right:
“Dana White and Joe Silva [the UFC’s matchmaker] told me they wanted me to retire, but I knew I still had the fight inside me. I pretty much begged for my job, to show how much I want to fight, but I still have it in my heart to compete, to fight. I told them I want to still fight against the top guys, I want to put on a show.”
“I’ve just turned 36, but when they put me against the top guys, I think I can still compete.”
“Too bad people don’t pay attention to the major details. I’ve competed against the top guys and gone on to win world championships. I’m not getting submitted or knocked out…I’m making little mistakes where I should be submitting guys. I thought I beat Forrest Griffin 2 to 1 the second time. But it was what it was.”
“I made some mistakes against Hamill. I didn’t respect his takedown. The UFC called me after that fight and said ‘we want you to retire’. I was shocked, I thought they were kidding around. I took it as they didn’t want to pay me, to give me what I’m worth. I’m competing against the top guys and I’m not getting dominated. So, next month, I’ll be fighting one of the top guys in the world again, ranked in the top 3, and I’m going to show how much I’m really worth.”
“I’ve put in a great eight weeks in camp for Ryan Bader. I’m healthy and ready to compete.”
Oh Tito, always exaggerating. Bader is more like Top 10 than Top 3, and I’m sure ‘healthy and ready to compete’ is code for ‘My spine has a giant crack in it and I huddle in a pile of tears every night over the complicated situation with my significant other.’
Regardless, it wouldn’t surprise me if Zuffa’s retirement talk went down exactly like Tito said. And on principle, I guess I agree with what Dana and Joe are saying: the glory days are over. There is nothing left for Tito in the octagon other than more disappointing performances and unfortunate losses. Still, how many years has Dana dealt with Tito? Does he really expect him to go quietly into retirement?
Hey, I hate Tito Ortiz’s stupid face just as much as the next guy, but last I checked he wasn’t getting Chuck’d or Goodridge’d in every fight. Maybe Bader will pull that off, but probably not. So after Tito loses again and begs out another fight, maybe consider someone with the firepower to really show him what year he’s stuck in. It’s too bad the UFC doesn’t grant Strikeforce-style title shots, because Jon Jones would be perfect for that job.