Friday, June 15, 2012

Tito Ortiz to be inducted into UFC Hall of Fame ahead of final bout with Forrest Griffin at UFC 148

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Tito Ortiz has had a long and oftentimes tumultuous relationship with the UFC, and especially UFC President Dana White; but as he enters the final fight of his career on July 7, a third fight with Forrest Griffin, Ortiz will be sent off in style.

According to a report from, Ortiz will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, becoming the ninth person honored by the organization. The induction will take place during the UFC Fan Expo the weekend of UFC 148.

Ortiz is the longest reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion ever, defending the belt five times from 2000-2002. During the dark ages of the UFC, Ortiz was the face of the organization, and his feud with Chuck Liddell became the UFC's first massive draw, with their second fight earning the first one million buy pay-per-view event.

"He pound for pound was doing some of the most damage at a time when we were hurting,? said White when reflecting on Ortiz's performance in the sport. "But it's part of our history the way the storylines played out between me, Chuck and Tito. He's definitely a part of the history of the sport."

Ortiz will be the first inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame since 2010, when Matt Hughes was inducted to the field. He joins Hughes, Charles "Mask" Lewis, Liddell, Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock, and Royce Gracie.

Penick's Analysis: Ortiz is absolutely deserving of a spot in any MMA hall of fame. The tail end of his career isn't going to be something to remember, and he may go out with only one win in his final nine fights, but with 27 fights in the Octagon to his credit and his status as one of the longest reigning champions in UFC history, he deserves to be in. This is a good addition to the UFC's Hall of Fame, and a good way for the UFC to send Ortiz off.


Mike Nickels Rashad Evans Keith Hackney Kultar Gill Valentijn Overeem

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