MMA great Tito Ortiz fights for the last time at Bellator 170 on January 21. On January 23, The People’s Champ turns 43. He will be fighting Chael Sonnen, 39.
During a recent Bellator 170 media call, Ortiz detailed why he is retiring. Ortiz has been criticized over the years online for dramatic references to injuries; however, his medical issues are all too real. This is a clip of surgery being performed on Ortiz’s neck.
“My biggest enemy has been my surgeries. I’ve had an ACL replaced in my left knee, ACL replaced in my right knee, 50 percent of my meniscus taken out of my right knee, lower back fusion, C-6, C-7 fused in my neck, C-5, C-4 disk replacement, C-4, C-3 fused. I have 26, 27 concussions, hundreds of stitches, I’ve been through the grinder. My biggest enemy has been my body.”
“I want to be remembered as a fighter with integrity. A fighter who did it this way, who has respect because he wanted to push the envelope for the fighters.”
This is in fact Ortiz’s second retirement. The first followed a loss to Forrest Griffin in 2012. Shortly afterward, he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. However, after going 1-7-1 in the UFC, Ortiz found a new career with Bellator. In 2014 he tapped then Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko, and took a split decision over fellow UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar. That earned him a title shot at then Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary, which he lost via submission.
Next week he fights Chael Sonnen, and then he’s done.