Tito Ortiz went out the way he wanted to: fighting. There was no decision made to have him step away with fights left on his contract. Instead, the former UFC light heavyweight champion was given one final fight.
Ortiz dropped a decision to Forrest Griffin Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II, ending his career and remarkable run inside the Octagon.
“I gave it my all and I think the fans respect me for that,” Ortiz said. “I fought how I wanted to fight, and that was with my heart and soul. Every one of my fights for the last 15 years, I gave it my all. I’m thankful for to my fans who have supported me over the last 15 years.”
Ortiz was honored as the ninth member of the UFC’s Hall of Fame just hours before meeting Griffin for a third time. Ortiz has dealt with several injuries, including major back surgery, that looked to end his career several years ago.
“I was a kid who came from nothing,” Ortiz said. “I turned a kid who came from nothing into the most successful career as a mixed martial artist. I helped build the sport that built me, and I’m very thankful.”