During a period of more than three years, he won the UFC light heavyweight championship belt and successfully defended it six consecutive times. He was a champion. He was dominant. He ruled the Octagon.
But the sport began to evolve and change rapidly. Ortiz got older and was hampered by constant, nagging injuries, some of which were described as career killers. Nonetheless, throughout his turbulent journey inside the eight-walled cage, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" developed some renowned rivalries (some more even than others).
Of course, his most famous pairing was opposite Chuck Liddell.
Forrest Griffin has been another Ortiz antagonist and it appears that their cage time could possibly resume in the very near future. Tonight (Jan. 30, 2012), Ortiz appeared on HDNet's "Inside MMA" to call out Griffin.
Here's what he had to say:
"Forrest, you know I deserve it, man. Step up. Let's do this. It's an awesome fight for you. I lost my last one. You lost your last one. Let's do this -- unless your scared!"
"He knows better than that. You know what's funny about me and Tito? The truth is we each consider the other an easy fight. For me, that's the perfect 'get right' fight. Coming back from a bad loss and beating Tito Ortiz up? No problem. For Tito, he's thinking, 'Forrest ain't that good. He's getting old, prematurely. This is a great way to go out, with a win over Forrest!' So, I think it's a beautiful match up because we both think of the other as an easy fight."
For mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who don't recall, these two former UFC 205-pound hampions have fought twice.
The first contest was a split decision that went in favor of Ortiz when they squared off at UFC 59 on Apr. 15, 2006, in Anaheim, California. Round two of their rivalry took the main stage at UFC 106 on Nov. 21, 2009, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The result? Another split decision. This time, the judges scored the match in favor of Griffin.
Ortiz has one fight left on his contract and has made it known that he has every intention of satisfying the terms. He wants a fight and, apparently, also wants a say in who his opponent is.
A rumor had been surfacing that Ortiz might end up matched up with Mauricio Rua, but those were stories primarily circulated from "Shogun's" camp and nowhere else.
The guys at "Inside MMA" pushed the issue with Griffin, who was in studio (Ortiz had merely pre-recorded his segment remotely), asking him if he wanted the fight, as well as if he thought it could possibly come together:
"Wanna know how fights get done now? If enough people get on Twitter, it'll happen. If enough people get on Twitter and tell 'em that's what they want, that's what's gonna happen. It has to be done."
Tweet-tweet, Maniacs, if Ortiz vs. Griffin 3 is one trilogy that you must see come to a concrete conclusion.