Indeed, in a recent interview "The People's Champ" put his name in the same rarefied air currently occupied by Hulk Hogan in pro wrestling and Ali in boxing.
"There's a few people that don't give me the respect that I deserve, but there are a lot of fans that give me a lot of respect, you know? Of course the people that follow me on Twitter, and you just hear the way they talk about me. I'm a legend, I'm an icon of the sport. You know, boxing had Muhammad Ali, professional wrestling had Hulk Hogan and mixed martial arts has Tito Ortiz."
Ortiz has stated that he will officially retire from MMA following his rubber match against Forrest Griffin at UFC 148 on July 7, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Once he does so, he could be taking an office job with the UFC or he could even try his hand at pro wrestling.
No matter what he does, can we call him one of the greatest to ever compete in the sport? His record as it stands now is 16-10-1 and he's currently won just one fight in the past five years with six losses and one draw within that time. But he was also one of the longest reigning champions in the history of the promotion, albeit during a time when the sport wasn't nearly as popular as it is today.
Well, Maniacs, is Ortiz the Ali of MMA?
Hear more from the artist formerly known as "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" after the jump.