As noted this past weekend, MMAFighting has cut through the rumors surrounding Tito Ortiz’s next matchup and confirmed via text message with UFC President Dana White that “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” will be taking on Matt “The Hammer” Hamill next, likely at UFC 121.
“It sucks, but this is business,” said Ortiz on his recent video blog, which is posted at the end of this article. “UFC made a decision. I was bummed… I love Matt, I think he’s an awesome athlete, and he’s an awesome person, but his time is not now.
“You won’t see any s***-talking from me about Matt Hamill, because I think he’s an awesome guy,” he continued. “But you’re making a better fight when it comes October 23rd, when I cave his face in. No bad feelings, no bad emotions, just punishment, that’s what it’s about.”
Rumors had swirled for the better part of a week that Ortiz would be facing Forrest Griffin in his next appearance in what would be a rubber match (Griffin and Ortiz are currently 1-1 against each other) but instead it will be Hamill providing Ortiz his next challenge in the Octagon.
A former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Ortiz has had a rough go as of late undergoing both back and neck surgeries and contending with mass media attention for a recent domestic altercation between himself and longtime girlfriend Jenna Jameson. Ortiz is 1-3-1 in his last five fights and his last win came against an aging Ken Shamrock at the aptly named Ortiz Vs Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter in October of 2006. He has since lost to Chuck Liddell via TKO, took home a draw against Rashad Evans (it should be noted that Ortiz was deducted a point in that fight for fence-grabbing), lost a unanimous decision to Lyoto Machida and, most recently, fought Forrest Griffin for a split-decision loss. His last Octagon appearance came in November of 2009 against Griffin.
Matt Hamill, once a student under Ortiz during the third installment of The Ultimate Fighter, is technically on a four fight win streak but earned one of those wins by disqualification after hot prospect Jon “Bones” Jones battered him thoroughly with illegal 12-6 elbows. Before that, Hamill had not lost since September of 2008 when he succumbed to a body kick TKO against Rich Franklin. “The Hammer” holds recent wins over Reese Andy and Mark Munoz and bounced back from the Jones bout with a Unanimous Decision win over Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine this past June at The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell Vs. Team Ortiz Finale.
UFC 121 has yet to be confirmed by the UFC but will likely go down this October in Anaheim, California at the Honda Center and should feature a heavyweight title fight in the main event between UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and challenger Cain Velasquez.
You can watch the video blog with Ortiz below: