This time last year, most people expected former UFC light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz to lose one more fight and then get booted from the UFC. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy had recently lost a decision to Matt Hamill, bringing his four-year losing streak to 0-4-1; as a result, the 36-year-old’s July UFC 132 bout against Ryan Bader was forecast to be his last with the promotion.
Ortiz, however, had other plans.
He not only defeated Bader, but put him away quickly in the first round with a guillotine choke after stunning him with a short right hand. Ortiz would lose his next fight, against top-tier light heavyweight Rashad Evans, but successfully resurrected his career with the win over Bader, keeping himself a player at light heavyweight despite the loss to Evans.
Currently, Ortiz is on deck to face Antonio Rogerio Noguiera at UFC 140 next month, but he’s open to facing all comers, including Rich Franklin, who called him out recently; Ortiz responded to Franklin on last night’s episode of Inside MMA.
“One hundred percent, yes. I would love to [fight Rich Franklin],” said Ortiz. “I’ll take any fights. Put ’em in front of me, I’ll fight. UFC wants me to fight ’em? I’ll fight. Dana wants me to fight ’em? I’ll fight. Rich Franklin, you wanna get broken off some? I’ll break you off some.”
You can catch a preview of the most recent episode of Inside MMA, which features Ortiz, in addition to the recently victorious Urijah Faber and Ronda Rousey, below.