15 minutes of fame ... or infamy?
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz has just one fight left in his storied mixed martial arts (MMA) career, a third and final bout against Forrest Griffin at the UFC 148 pay-per-view (PPV) event on July 7, 2012 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Three rounds of action, which boils down to just 15 minutes of fisticuffs.
It's a destination that's taken "The People's Champion" 15 years to reach, as his Octagon journey began back in 1997 and made a few championship pitstops along the way. At yesterday's UFC 148 pre-fight media conference call, Ortiz detailed what this last hurrah means to him as a fighter.
Those comments, after the jump.
"I've been waiting 15 years for this, for 15 minutes. Only 15 minutes of my life I'll have to give. Over the last eight weeks, I've been giving that 15 minutes, three hours, four hours, five hours a day, six days a week, preparing for Forrest. I know how he fights and I know how he likes to fight. I'm gonna try and absorb as much as I can for the next week, like I've been doing the last eight weeks, continuing on with the winning mentality. This fight means the world to me and I'll show on July 7 how much it means to me. I'm not coming to play around, to talk a lot of smack, I'm coming to fight.I know Forrest is ready, I'm ready, let's fight."
First stop, "Sin City." Next stop, UFC Hall of Fame.
Griffin and Ortiz first went to war at UFC 59: "Reality Check" just under six years ago. The original "Ultimate Fighter" survived a rough first round to come back and even the odds later in the fight, but eventually fell to the longtime veteran via split decision.
But their feud was far from over.
Ortiz gave the best-selling author another chance to dance, and this time Griffin was able to walk away with the split decision victory at UFC 106 in late 2009, thanks to a "cracked skull" Tito suffered in training camp.
Now it's time to settle this thing once and for all.
Who ya' got?