We’re just one day away from the return of UFC legend/unbearable heel Tito Ortiz at UFC 106, and the former light-heavyweight champ promises to go out guns blazin’ against Forrest Griffin: "I gotta put on a show, I gotta win, I gotta stop him, I gotta do what I need to do in my game to make Forrest quit." Though Ortiz claims to have improved his striking for this fight, he also won’t be giving up his bread and butter. "Every time he kicks he’s gonna be taken down. A lot of fighters don’t take advantage of that when they see Forrest kick, they try to check all the kicks. The hell with that. I’m putting him on his back. Back to the old Tito Ortiz, man, my ground and pound where it’s lethal…they’ll be carrying him out on a stretcher."
Later, Ortiz says that he doesn’t have a problem with the way that the UFC has used his name to build the careers of Griffin and Lyoto Machida, and regarding the rash of injuries and illnesses in the UFC as of late, he’d fight Forrest with a broken leg (which he clarifies he doesn’t have, but still). The only thing that matters to him right now is becoming a world champion again, one match at a time. And if that gets in the way of roles in Mark Wahlberg flicks, so be it.
And yes, he’s wearing the shades again. There’s a reason for that…
Seven years ago, I was coming off a decision loss in the WEC that was held in Connecticut. As if a five-hour plane ride back home after a disappointing loss wasn’t miserable enough, Tito Ortiz was sitting directly in front of me. He had been wearing his UFC belt everywhere the entire weekend of the fight and was still wearing it in the airport and now on the plane ride home, too. He had to turn it backwards to comfortably sit on the plane. He proceeded to tilt his seat back as far as it could possibly go. This left nothing in my forward vision except for a giant yellow head, not to mention the fact that his seat was basically in my lap, which was more than mildly uncomfortable.
Over the course of the next five hours, I tried my best to sleep, but every time I opened my eyes, there was a huge sphere of yellow hairs with dark roots coming in no less than 12 inches from my face. I was bordered on the right by a window and on the left by Colin Oyama. Luckily for me, I was able to suppress this memory for quite some time, but after seeing that giant yellow head bounce around the ring a few times afterward, I’d get flashbacks. Rumor had it that just a few weeks earlier, Lee Murray soccer-kicked a giant yellow beach ball in a British pub. Forrest by TKO in round three.