UFC President Dana White has remained adamant in his stance that friend and employee Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell will never fight in the Octagon again after suffering five losses (four by knockout) in his last six fights. After posting a similarly dismal record of 0-4-1 in five fights, many assumed that Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz (a fighter of Liddell’s era) would be released and treated in the same fashion as Liddell.
After losing to former pupil Matt Hamill in late October, Ortiz seemed on his way out the UFC’s door, as White indicated to media that he felt Ortiz had lost relevancy amongst today’s MMA fighters. However, it was recently announced that Ortiz would be fighting Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in March of 2011 for the UFC’s return to Abu Dhabi. Speaking at the UFC 123 pre-fight press conference recently, White explained his decision to grant Ortiz one, and only one, last chance.
“I thought I was gonna cut him, too [after UFC 121],” said White. “Tito said, ‘I’m not done. I feel healthy, I feel good. He asked me for one more chance, so I’m gonna do it… I’m not the evil bastard everybody thinks I am.”
Though White displayed a rarely seen soft spot for Ortiz, the UFC boss was clear in expressing the finality of the consequences should Ortiz be defeated.
“This is definitely his last chance,” he said. “And he knows that, too.”
Do you feel Ortiz should get another chance to prove himself worthy or do you think that he’s done all that he can to stay relevant and should be released? Sound off in the comments section.