This Fourth of July weekend will signify a monumental period of time for Tito Ortiz (Pictured). Not only will the former light heavyweight champion step inside the Octagon for the final time, but UFC president Dana White announced Tuesday they will also be inducting him into their Hall of Fame.
Given White’s rocky relationship with “The People’s Champ” (formerly, but forever known as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy”), many pundits thought Ortiz might be shunned from the exclusive club, which currently consists of just eight superstars.
However, White claims their issues are a thing of the past, and taking into consideration what Ortiz has meant to the UFC, the Hall simply wouldn’t be right without him.
“He pound-for-pound was doing some of the most damage at a time when we were hurting,” White told MMAWeekly. “But it’s part of our history the way the storylines played out between me, Chuck [Liddell] and Tito. He’s definitely a part of the history of the sport.”
Ortiz will be joining the likes of Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie, Dan Severn, Randy Couture, Mark Coleman, Chuck Liddell, Charles Lewis Jr. and Matt Hughes as members of the UFC’s Hall of Fame.
Ortiz has gone just 1-6-1 over his last eight outings. However, the 37-year-old’s recent run pales in comparison to his contributions to mixed martial arts. Ortiz’s 16-10-1 resume includes nine championship fights, 5 consecutive successful title defenses and being the face of the UFC when Zuffa, LLC was just starting to take over the game.
All but one of his scraps took place under the UFC’s banner.
The ceremony will take place at the UFC Fan Expo at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 7th, just hours before Ortiz wraps up his Octagon career with a trilogy against Forrest Griffin at UFC 148 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena.