Fans have seen the heartbreaking journey go down time and again. No matter how invincible a professional athlete appears throughout their career, Father Time will forever remain undefeated.
Former light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz is facing a must-win situation this Saturday against Ryan Bader at UFC 132. Although “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has gone 0-4-1 over his last five contests, the 36-year-old is confident health and renewed dedication will allow him to determine his own fate.
“I’m going out on my own terms. It sucked watching Chuck [Liddell] go out the way he did,” Ortiz shared during Wednesday’s media workouts. “We had our bad blood toward each other, but before this company got big – before this business got big – Chuck and I were friends. We’re the first Team Punishment members. To see him go out the way he did, it sucked.
“Seeing Randy [Couture] go out the way he did, it was heartfelt. I always looked to Randy as a sort of role model in my life. I’m doing the best I can do to be like Randy. To see him go out the way he did, it sucked.”
For lack of a better term, Ortiz represents the last of MMA’s Mohicans. When mixed martial arts really started to make its climb, the trio was the sport’s most recognizable ambassadors.
In fact, if there was a UFC Mount Rushmore, their domes would be etched on the side of the hill – along with Dana White, of course.
Bader is a heavy 5-to-1 odds-on favorite to beat Ortiz inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Will Saturday mark the end of an era, or the start of another chapter in Ortiz’s 14-year career?
“I have a lot more fight in me,” Ortiz emphatically stated.