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Much hyped Tito Ortiz comeback falls flat – Forrest Griffin wins split decision at UFC 106

Tito's three weeks with Freddie Roach did little to help him when Forrest poured on the heat.

Forrest Griffin edged out a split decision victory over Tito Ortiz Saturday night in the UFC 106 main event which took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Ortiz used his wrestling to get Griffin to the ground early in the bout, but Griffin defended well from the bottom for the most part, and by the third round, Tito was having much more trouble with his takedowns.

Griffin picked “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” apart with superior striking but the third round was the most devastating. In the third, Ortiz barely mounted any offense at all, and basically became a strike test dummy for the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season one.

Ortiz and Griffin met inside the Octagon for the first time at UFC 59 in 2006. It was in that fight that Ortiz handed Griffin his very first UFC loss. That fight also finished via split decision. Following  tonight’s bout, Ortiz said they had now both won one fight each, and they needed to do it again for a tie-breaker. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan agreed with the sentiment.

Ortiz had been out of action since May 2008 when he lost a unanimous decision to UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida at UFC 84. There were a lot of questions surrounding Tito coming into this fight. Would he have ring rust? How would he perform after having back surgery?

He definitely looked rusty. The audience let out some boos when In the post fight interview, as usual, Ortiz claimed he had some injuries coming into this fight.

The truth is, his stand up game looked about the same as it always had, and that is not going to cut it in the UFC light heavyweight division. He may have gained a new contract with the UFC, but so far he has not shown us that he has gained much more than that.

On the other hand, if he can remain injury free, and get back in the Octagon in  a relatively short period of time, maybe he can shed off some of the rust, and get some wins under his belt. At this point, there are some match-ups for Ortiz that would make some exciting fights (Tito vs. Kimbo), but as far as him getting in line for a title hunt, he is not ready, and truthfully, may never be again.

For complete results of all the night’s fights at UFC 106: Ortiz vs. Griffin 2 check out ProMMA.info’s UFC 106 results and play-by-play commentary article.

By: Jack Bratcher

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