After pulling out of Saturday’s Bellator 106 event due to a fractured neck, Tito Ortiz is optimistic about making a fairly quick return.
Ortiz (16-11-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) was slated to fight fellow ex-UFC champ Quinton Jackson (32-11 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Saturday’s event, but following “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’s” withdrawal, the bout was scrapped, and the event moved from pay-per-view to Spike TV.
Ortiz actually retired in 2012 following UFC 148, but when Bellator offered a contract, the organization planned to make him a centerpiece of its PPV debut. But the oft-injured fighter was forced off the card this past week. Ortiz wanted to fight anyway, but Bellator followed the doctor’s recommendation to halt the contest.
Ortiz, though, believes he could be back training before year’s end.
As he wrote on Twitter: “Ppl I will have 100% recovery & will be back n the gym in 6 weeks.I’m a fighter & I love competition. I was doing great n training but accident do happen. Just time to reshuffle the deck & deal another hand. #positiveminded”
It’s not known if Ortiz, 38, will still fight Jackson, who’s expected to face a replacement opponent at an upcoming Bellator show. An official announcement of the fight is expected today.
Ortiz, once one of the UFC’s most popular fighters, has the longest light-heavyweight title run in UFC history (1,260 days) and held the record for title defenses (five) until Jon Jones broke it this past month. However, he’s 1-7-1 in his past nine fights and has just one victory in the past seven years.
For more on Bellator 106, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.