Monday Hangover: Tito Ortiz

It’s been an incredible weekend for MMA fans! First, M-1 on Showtime Friday night, then BAMMA 8 on HD-Net and of course UFC 140 on Saturday… this Monday Hangover is dedicated to Tito Ortiz, whose loss to Lil’ Nog at UFC 140 was, well, a fight I didn’t want to see. Not because I thought Tito would get KO’d (although I did think he’d lose), but because I didn’t see it moving the division forward or either of their careers…

Now that Tito Ortiz got pwned by Lil’ Nog.. now what?

Tito Ortiz has been part of the foundation of the UFC, fighting in it for fourteen years. He still has one fight on his contract. He announced post-fight that he wants to finish with a win. Of course he does.

The UFC would be wise to give him a last fight: he’s a notable personality, does great pre-fight build-up and looks spectacular getting KO’d fighting in the cage. But they’d better not give him a tin can. Too easy of a fight would do more damage than a tough loss would.

He’s a polarizing figure: you either love him or hate him. And while he’s spent his entire career being the spoiler, the guy you loved to hate, in the last few fights he’s pushing a more positive image. He’s no longer “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” and is attempting to re-brand himself “The People’s Champ.”

This is a very smart move, as his post-UFC career will most likely consist of owning his “Punishment” brand of training centers, clothing and supplements, and being a positive figure is important to building trust in a brand. This is especially important in the supplement business.

Maybe it’s time for Tito to realize how much his career in the UFC has given him and retire… before Dana forces him to.