Bad Boy going to UFC Hall of Fame
June 28, 2012
The UFC announced that Tito Ortiz will join the UFC Hall of Fame with an induction ceremony the same day as his fight with Forrest Griffin on Saturday, July 7th. Thus, Ortiz will be fighting his last bout in the UFC as a current Hall of Famer.
Via UFC Press Release:
Ortiz will be officially inducted at midday on July 7 at the UFC Fan Expo, meaning he will fight the final bout of his 15-year career against old nemesis Forrest Griffin at UFC 148 on July 7 as a confirmed UFC Hall of Famer. Ortiz is the first inductee since 2010, and joins Matt Hughes, MMA pioneer Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis, Mark Coleman, Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn as well as contemporaries Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture in the pantheon of Octagon immortals.
The release also had comments from Dana White:
“Everyone knows the story of me and Tito and all the things that went on between us. A lot of it wasn’t fun at the time, but all that controversy and craziness is now part of the story of the UFC, and there’s no question that in his prime he was a huge star and one of the greats of his era.”
“You can’t write the story of this era of mixed martial arts without Tito Ortiz, and that’s why he belongs in the Hall of Fame. He’s been in the UFC for 15 years – and sticking around that long is an achievement in itself – and now he’s down to just 15 minutes at UFC 148. Believe me, I know how proud and stubborn this guy is and I expect him to use everything he has left as a fighter to go out as a winner at UFC 148.”
This ending is a good companion piece to the Silva-Sonnen main event. Ortiz has done his part in making the media rounds for his last fight at UFC 148. It seems as though the fans have gravitated toward Ortiz since his upset win over Ryan Bader last July. Call it nostalgia, but even though fans may have grown tired of his antics and excuses in recent years, the last year has been a farewell tour for Ortiz. A classy move by Dana White, or maybe a business move to put Ortiz in the Hall of Fame the same night as his last match. Despite their feuds, it was the right thing for White to do. Not only does it honor Ortiz, it should boost fan interest.
As a side note, does anyone else remember in the early years that Spike or Fox was to air a boxing match between Ortiz and White?