(The exact moment Tito’s fighting career jumped the shark.)
It’s amazing that with the UFC’s longtime policy of cutting fighters who lose three fights in a row, that Tito Ortiz, who is 0-3-1 in his past four fights hasn’t been fired yet. One would assume that “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” was being kept around because of his past merits and pay-per-view sales, but apparently his job isn’t as secure as we assumed.
According to Ortiz, the UFC was ready to let him go after his UFC 121 loss to Matt Hamill, but instead urged the former UFC light heavyweight champion to follow in the footsteps of longtime nemesis Chuck Liddell and retire to save them the trouble of sending him to the unemployment line. Tito says he basically begged Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta for one more kick at the cat and they begrudgingly agreed, throwing him in against a young lion in Ryan Bader at UFC 132.
“Dana White and Joe Silva [the UFC's matchmaker] told me they wanted me to retire, but I knew I still had the fight inside me. I pretty much begged for my job, to show how much I want to fight, but I still have it in my heart to compete, to fight,” he told the UK Telegraph. I told them I want to still fight against the top guys, I want to put on a show. I’ve just turned 36, but when they put me against the top guys, I think I can still compete.”