Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz might (we think) be retired from mixed martial arts (MMA), as well as enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame, but the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" still can't seem to let sleeping dogs lie.
Perhaps it's because Ortiz didn't go out on top, which would have been possible with a win over Forrest Griffin in their trilogy match at UFC 148, which took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 7, 2012. However, losing was the rule rather than the exception in Ortiz's final few years, winning just once (Ryan Bader) in his final nine Octagon appearances over a six-year span.
Indeed, losing wasn't anything new, but the circumstances were certainly different.
After their close, back-and-forth 205-pound showdown concluded and headed to the judges for a final decision, Griffin stormed out of the cage in disgust. UFC President Dana White, incredulously, had to hunt him down and drag him back into the Octagon to be present for the announcement.
It was an odd scene even if it wasn't Griffin's first flight from fight. One that to this day gives Ortiz a disingenuous, "fishy" feeling.
"After [he ran] out of the fight, that shows that he lost and for Dana to go back and run and get him to come back, there’s something fishy going on here," Ortiz said to GNP.tv in a recent interview. "How does Dana know how the match is going to turn out? I thought something was fishy about that. Was it premeditated? Was it pre-planned what the answer was going to be? If If didn't knock him out or if I didn't submit him, they already knew who was going to win."
Ortiz, it seems, is suggesting -- or at least questioning -- the possibility that the UFC might have had a hand in the decision from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC)-appointed panel of judges. It simply doesn't make sense otherwise, considering Ortiz (in his view) completely dominated Griffin despite losing a unanimous decision.
Two knockdowns, which took place in the second and third rounds, respectively, as well as numerous takedowns and unrivaled kick-checking ability far outweighed anything that Griffin did throughout their 15-minute "Fight of the Night" in "Sin City."
"I thought I won, all my fans thought I won," Ortiz explained. "When you drop a guy twice, take him down four times and you dominate by doing it … He never took me down. He never hurt me…. For the first time ever in UFC history, they showed strikes attempted -- not strikes landed, strikes attempted. When do you ever show somebody with strikes attempted? He never hit me, I blocked all of them, I checked all of his kicks."
Slipshod scores, first-of-a-kind fight stats and White's decision to track down Griffin, all add up to a fishy dish to Ortiz -- who had a well-chronicled love-hate relationship with White and Co. over the years -- on perhaps the most important night of his MMA career.
Sounds like a stretch, especially considering that White later regretted his decision to reel-in Griffin, who only embarrassed himself further by ripping the microphone from the hands of UFC color commentator Joe Rogan and conducting Ortiz's final post-fight interview.