Less than a month away from his retirement fight, Tito Ortiz still holds the record for longest title run in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
Ortiz took the belt from Wanderlei Silva at UFC 25 in 2000 and defended it five times before relinquishing the strap to Randy Couture at UFC 44 in 2003. Not even celebrated and long-reigning light heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell could top that record before he retired, falling one fight short of the mark.
Speaking with Newsday recently though, Ortiz said that he expects current 205lbs champ, young dynamo Jon Jones, to break his record before too long.
“I would love for it to stick around, but I think Jonny ‘Bones’ Jones will be the one to beat me,” Ortiz said. “If there’s any person in the world I’d love to see do it, I would love to see him do it because he’s such a good dude. He’s a good guy. I like him a lot. I think he represents the sport very well, I mean, until he got his DWI. We all make mistakes at a young age. If he beats my record, then he’s done some great things.”
Having already defended the title three times since initially winning it from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in March of last year, Jones is well on his way to doing exactly that.