Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz (17-11-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) has long been one of the most recognizable stars in the sport of MMA. He’s also dealt with his share of haters.

And so it was before his Bellator debut, when Ortiz fought Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko at this past May’s Bellator 120 event. Even then-Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney called the matchup a “freak show” fight.

Ortiz was certainly the bigger man going into the matchup, but with just one win in his previous nine outings, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” was a sizable underdog according to the oddsmakers. Then the 39-year-old went in and smashed Shlemenko, taking him to the floor and choking him unconscious in the first round.

Afterward, Ortiz’s critics said he was supposed to win the fight and that the result was hardly impressive. Ortiz heard the public change in tone.

“I believed that I could do it,” Ortiz told MMAjunkie. “I had no problem with it. Many other people didn’t believe I could do it until after I did do it, and then they were like, ‘Oh, you were supposed to win. That was a gimme fight.’ It was just funny because there were so many people talking smack.”

Check out the video above to hear Ortiz talk about the importance of that win and what he hops to accomplish in Bellator before he finally decides to call it a career.

And for more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC Declines to Match Offer, Rory MacDonald Likely Headed to Bellator

  • 4 days ago
  • 61 views

Former UFC welterweight title contender Rory MacDonald appears to be headed to Bellator MMA. read news >>

UFC 202: Watch One of the Prettiest Combinations in MMA History

  • 7 days ago
  • 20 views

Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone has a lot of wins to his name. 31 of them, to be exact. But none of them were prettier than what he just pulled off at UFC 202. Facing veteran Rick Story, he uncorked one of t read news >>

Chinzo Machida Makes Promotional Debut at Bellator 160

  • 19 days ago
  • 226 views

Chinzo Machida, brother of former UFC champion Lyoto Machida, will make his promotional debut at “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull.” read news >>

Bellator MMA Officially Announces Signing of Rory MacDonald

  • a day ago
  • 28 views

The news leaked out earlier this week, but Bellator MMA made it official on Friday during the Bellator 160 broadcast. The fight promotion has inked a deal with welterweight Rory MacDonald. read news >>

Bellator 160 Results: Benson Henderson Earns Title Shot Against Michael Chandler

  • a day ago
  • 103 views

Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull took place on Friday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California and the main event ended in bizarre fashion. read news >>

Bellator 160 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Henderson vs. Pitbull Card

  • a day ago
  • 96 views

Benson Henderson got his first win with Bellator on Friday night against Patricio "Pitbull" Freire, but it didn't happen the way most would have wanted. During the second round, Pitbull suffered a ri read news >>

UFC 201 Is Another Night in the Lost Reign of Robbie Lawler

  • 29 days ago
  • 89 views

If a Robbie Lawler opponent falls but no one is watching, does he make a sound? If you’re one of the ones who has been watching the past few years, you’d probably say so. They tend to grunt or groan read news >>

VIDEO: Urijah Faber Talks PEDs, Brock Lesnar, and Chad Mendes

  • 28 days ago
  • 66 views

Urijah Faber reflects on his career and also shares his thoughts on Brock Lesnar and Chad Mendes’ recent involvement with PEDs. read news >>

‘Baby Slice’ Faces Jonathan Tomasian in Pro Debut at Bellator 160

  • 26 days ago
  • 15 views

“Baby Slice” Kevin Ferguson Jr.'s Bellator arrival was trending on social media for two-straight days. On Monday, Bellator confirmed his first challenge. read news >>

Nick Diaz Freed! Who Could, and Who Should, He Face in His Return?

  • 26 days ago
  • 30 views

Ten months ago, one of the most egregious injustices in combat sports history occurred. Nick Diaz, accomplished mixed martial artist, former champion and current UFC contender, was suspended (warning read news >>