The odds were more than stacked against former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz heading into UFC 132 on Saturday night.
He was a heavy underdog, +350 to be exact, entering what many thought would be his last fight inside the Octagon. Ortiz opted to submit 5-to-1 favorite Ryan Bader in the 1stRound of their matchup, instead.
UFC president Dana White guaranteed Ortiz would be making his final appearance for the promotion if he was unable to end his five fight winless streak.
“Dude, it’s 2011. He’s got to win,” White told MMAFighting prior to the bout.
Fast forward 116 seconds and Ortiz finds himself in the winner’s circle for the first time since 2006 when he beat a past-his-prime Ken Shamrock for the second consecutive time.
“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” admits for the first time in a long time in his controversial career, he was completely focused on fighting.
“The key tonight was the guys that I’ve been training with. It’s such a positive group of guys and anytime I thought I wanted to let up in training, they kept pushing me,” Ortiz said after his victory. “I put my private life on the backburner for this training camp so that I could focus on performing like I’m capable of performing.”
From the brink of unemployment and possibly retirement, to the thrill and excitement of revitalizing his career – Ortiz has been given a new lease on life.
“It’s such a great feeling to get this win. I’m reinventing myself,” stated Ortiz.