Tito Ortiz is making a pretty hefty paycheck by MMA standards and he's lost four of his last five fights. Is he earning his keep? Well, that's a matter of perspective. Either the UFC believes Ortiz isn't keeping up his end of the bargain or it's concerned for his safety because the promotion asked him to walk away from the sport after his last fight against Matt Hamill.
"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," Ortiz told The Telegraph.
Ortiz (15-8-1, 14-8-1 UFC) went into salesman mode.
"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," Ortiz said. "I've just turned 36, but when they put me against the top guys, I think I can still compete."
Ortiz's losses aren't bad and he hasn't gotten crushed in fights against Rashad Evans, Matt Hamill, Lyoto Machida and Forrest Griffin. But how long can you keep a former star around if he can't beat anyone in the top 10?
His next matchup seems like an awful one. Ortiz's only shot in a fight is to get it the ground. Ryan Bader, a high-level former college wrestler, isn't going to get taken down by Ortiz and has a lot more power on the feet. The sports books seem to think Tito is done. Bader's been installed as a minus-450 favorite at UFC 132.
- Tito Ortiz
- Matt Hamill