At UFC 133 Tito Ortiz appeared to be very confident heading into his fight with Rashad Evans. His body language was that of a guy that really believed he could defeat Rashad Evans. He had just won his first fight in 5 years a little over a month ago, and he had the support of the crowd as they cheered him on to defeat Rashad Evans.
Then reality began to set in about halfway through the first round in which Ortiz survived through sheer heart, grit, and toughness that he has displayed throughout his near 15 year career.
Tito Ortiz is who we thought he was, a fighter that’s well past his prime and a fighter whose body has been robbed of its physical attributes due to injury and wear and tear over his career.
A lot of fans gave Ortiz a legitimate chance to to best Rashad Evans who was coming off a near year and a half hiatus from the cage. Mostly due to the fact that Tito Ortiz dismantled a younger fighter in Ryan Bader at UFC 132 who has similar attributes as Evans. Ortiz came out as a huge underdog and put away a hungry up and comer in less than 3 minutes, finishing him in epic fashion and saving his career at the same time.
The reality is that Ortiz defeated Bader so fast that it was easy to look past the fact that Ortiz looked largely the same in the Bader fight as he had in all of his previous fights. There were a couple of times where he badly missed Bader with punches early on, but just so happen to land the short ‘hookercut’ as it’s been called to put Bader down and then choke him out. There was no luck involved in landing the punch or him cinching the guillotine as you have to grant him full credit for executing both of those techniques to win. However, the same punches that he missed Bader with are the same punches that Evans easily avoided on last night.
Rashad Evans dominated Tito Ortiz last becoming only the fourth guy to stop Ortiz in his career. Maybe the way Evans beat Ortiz is more indicative of how we should look at Ryan Bader as a prospect as he has now lost two straight getting stopped in the process?
Ortiz is a guy that will bring it every time he steps inside the octagon. He’s a guy that saved the main event of UFC 133 by fighting on short notice.
He’s a guy that can be somewhat competitive against the middle to upper echelon of the UFC light heavyweight division but does not have the skills to beat them consistently.