Yesterday (Oct. 25, 2013) was not a good day for Tito Ortiz. News broke in the afternoon that he was forced from his bout with Quinton Jackson that was planned for Bellator 106 (full details here). That Light Heavyweight bout was supposed to serve as the main event for the promotion's pay-per-view (PPV) debut next weekend (Sat., Nov. 2, 2013).
It was later confirmed that Ortiz suffered a fractured neck and the injury was serious enough that it could have been career-ending if he tried to fight. Bellator held a conference call with mixed martial arts (MMA) media to explain the situation and the announce the decision to turn Bellator 106 into a free card on Spike TV.
Through most of the day, "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" remained quiet. Even after the conference call, he didn't really give any indication how he was handling the situation save for one tweet.
I tried everything to fight.My doc and Bjorn made the final decision.I will heal and will be back.Thank you for the support.Sorry Tw family!— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) October 26, 2013
There's a few things that need to be discussed here.
The first is that neck injuries are incredibly serious and this isn't the first time that Ortiz has had a neck problems. He's undergone surgery numerous times to correct several injuries, and at almost 38 years old, it's clear that his body just can't handle the grind of being a fighter.
That's got to be a difficult pill to swallow for a fighter. He still wants to compete and believes he can continue to earn a comfortable living in MMA but his body has failed him.
The second thing is that there's just no way a doctor would have cleared him. He has a fractured neck. There's just no conceivable way that the discussion with Rebney went beyond Ortiz saying, "I have a fractured neck" and Rebney saying, "there's no way in hell you're fighting."
Third, and most important, is the fact that Ortiz has no business fighting anymore. You can read that as a statement regarding his record since 2010 or you can read it as a commentary on his overall health and well-being. The point is that after this latest injury, he should be looking at a life after fighting.
Those glory days really do pass him by ... a long time ago.