Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) newly minted Hall of Famer, Tito Ortiz, is done fighting in the Octagon, finishing his career in combat sports with a loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 7, 2012.
He may be done exchanging leather in the cage, but he's taken up a new fight, and it's something that he's very passionate about.
After losing to Griffin, it became public that Forrest had been granted an exemption by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). It was something that not many people knew about heading into the fight.
No one, including Tito:
"Yes, that's correct. I feel bad. This sport's gonna so far in such a short amount of time. I hope this doesn't become an epidemic, you know? What type of message are we trying to send to the youths that are watching our sport? If you're doing performance enhancing drugs, this is the same thing we've been trying to stop from happening. All of a sudden, in the last six months, it's legal to do?"
Hear what else Ortiz had to say, during an interview with "Inside MMA," plus catch the video of the whole thing, after the break:
Tito continued to talk about his feelings regarding the use of TRT in mixed martial arts (MMA), as well as how he felt about Griffin's shenanigans after they fought:
"You're allowed to be six times over an average? You're gonna be six times over a normal person? Let's play on an even field. I mean, since day one that I've been competing, I've always been on an even field. Why, all of a sudden, can a fighter be higher, six times the amount of an average person? I think we're sending the wrong message out to fans and to the kids who wanna be UFC fighters and mixed martial arts fighters. If they're not able to compete on an even field, now they're able to use some kind of supplement to enhance them to become on a higher level. They're able to push themselves, able to recover faster, able to push themselves harder during the fight. Now, what happens to their mind? What happens to their body? Now I look at it, I look at the way Forrest reacted after the fight, now I know why he reacted the way he did. So, it's just too bad that this epidemic is starting to happen."
For Ortiz, he feels like it comes down to setting a good example for the kids and the fighters who haven't made it to the big show, yet.
He has no intention of returning to the sport. He's done for good, but he still carries a torch for keeping the sport clean:
"No, not at all. The only reason I'm on the show right now is that we need to bring it to our attention before it gets out of control, before our kids start paying attention and looking up to us role models, as fighters. I've been trying so hard to make this sport acceptable throughout the world. I think Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta have done an awesome job with the UFC by making this happen. So, this is something that has to nipped in the bud, right off the bat, and not let people like Forrest get away with things like this, and other fighters, doing the same thing, too."
Ortiz went on to state that a large part of the reason he retired was his lack of ability to compete and recover the way that he did when he was younger.
He also feared that he would no longer be able to stay on the same playing field with guys who he knew were using supplements to help them perform at a higher level:
"It's probably 80-percent of the reason. If we were allowed to do it, back in our day, Bas, you'd still be fighting. You'd probably still be the world champ. But, at the same time, I've been through some major surgeries. If I was able to use this type of therapy, maybe I'd still be fighting. Maybe I'd still be doing it. But I think it's an easy way out. It's a weakness. It's an excuse. If I can't fight on an even field with the rest of the fighters, yes it is time to step out, step away, and I've done that, because my body's not able to recover as fast as it did before."
"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" still had a bit more to say about Griffin's antics after the fight at UFC 148. He also put the tin foil hat on and explored some conspiracy theories while he was at it:
"It's crazy. It's the first time I've seen in UFC history where the president had to go chase the guy down to tell him to get back into the cage. Was it pre-meditated? How did Dana know the ending of the fight? I didn't understand that. I've never seen anybody chase anybody down to get them back in the cage, and then step in and literally step over his tongue by stepping in for my interview. Joe Rogan was supposed to do his job. I look at it and -- i'm just happy with my performance. I fought my butt off. I fought as hard as I possibly could. I was happy with my performance. I came up a little bit short. Personally, I thought I won. I watched the fight over and over again. I turned the audio off, so I didn't listen to the commentating on the fight, in general. I thought I won. My fans thought I won. I just came back from the Fan Expo in San Jose, and there's not one fan that didn't come up to me and say they thought I won. It is what it is, but I think this is beyond that. I'm a little passed this now. I just wanna make sure for the younger fighters that are up-and-coming, that the kids that watch us as role models, in the sport of mixed martial arts, that they're not looking for the negative stuff that other athletes are using to enhance their performance."
Check out the video of Tito's interview with "Inside MMA," right here: