Few fighters have had as significant an impact on the sport of mixed martial arts as Tito Ortiz.

In July, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” will be rewarded for those accomplishments with his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame prior to his final bout against Forrest Griffin at UFC 148. UFC President Dana White told MMAWeekly.com of the decision following UFC 150 press conference on Tuesday. Ortiz is expected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 6 as part of the UFC Fan Expo.

With his enshrinement, Ortiz joins Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock as the eighth fighter to earn a spot in the Hall of Fame. Tapout co-founder Charles “Mask” Lewis is also in the UFC Hall of Fame.

Now 37 years old, Ortiz made his Octagon debut in 1997, defeating Wes Albritton before falling to Guy Mezger in tournament bouts at UFC 13. As it turned out, he was just getting started. Ortiz would compete outside the promotion just once while compiling a UFC-record 26 career appearances -- Hughes is No. 2 all-time with 25.

Ortiz captured the UFC light heavyweight title in 1999 by defeating Wanderlei Silva and then successfully defended the belt five straight times before losing it to Randy Couture at UFC 44. He would receive one more shot at UFC gold but came up short against Chuck Liddell at UFC 66, a fight which drew a live gate of $5.4 million, still the largest MMA gate in Nevada history. Ortiz was always one of the sport’s biggest draws, and his feuds with Liddell, Ken Shamrock and White helped drive MMA to its current level of popularity.

The loss to the “Iceman” marked the beginning of Ortiz’s decline, as he has gone 1-6-1 in UFC bouts since December 2006. He experienced a brief return to glory with his upset of Top-10 light heavyweight Ryan Bader at UFC 132. The resurgence was short-lived, however, as Ortiz suffered back-to-back defeats to Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in his next two outings.

UFC 148 takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a middleweight title rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Ortiz’s rubber match with Griffin is the final fight on his current UFC contract.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Former UFC Champion Jens Pulver Enjoying a Life of Giving Back

  • 27 days ago
  • 16 views

Following an accomplished fight career, former UFC champion Jens Pulver is drawing on his struggles to help give back to others. read news >>

Valor Fights’ Corey Browning Plans Busy Year

  • 26 days ago
  • 4 views

He may have started his pro career off slowly, but Corey Browning plans a busy 2016. He returns to the cage at Valor Fights 32 on Friday. read news >>

Jason Novelli Heads into Titan FC 38 Co-Main Event Planning a Big Career Year

  • 24 days ago
  • 7 views

Finally getting his training on track, Jason Novelli heads into Saturday's Titan FC 38 with plans for it to be a career year for him. read news >>

Drew Brokenshire Stepping Out as He Takes His Career to the Next Level

  • 16 days ago
  • 5 views

Finding it harder to get fights in his region, Drew Brokenshire is stepping out in an attempt to take his career to the next level. read news >>

Stephanie Alba Ready to Unleash the Cyclone on Combate Americas

  • 14 days ago
  • 5 views

Following an extensive amateur career, Stephanie Alba has had a strong start to her pro career, and now she's going to unleash the Cyclone on Combate Americas. read news >>

With His Career on the Rebound, Sergei Kharitonov Hunting Bellator Championship

  • 14 days ago
  • 21 views

In the midst of a career resurgence, Pride veteran Sergei Kharitonov is hunting a Bellator championship. read news >>

Cyborg vs. Leslie Smith: Career Stats, Highlights for Both Before UFC 198

  • 11 days ago
  • 24 views

After years of rumors and speculation, Cris Cyborg makes her long-awaited, much-anticipated UFC debut on Saturday at UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, against Leslie Smith in a 140-pound catchweight match read news >>

Belfort living the dream decades into career

  • 12 days ago
  • 0 views

Almost 20 years since his Octagon debut, Vitor Belfort is showing no signs of slowing in search of ufc glory read news >>

UFC 198: Can Fabricio Werdum Reverse the Curse of the UFC Heavyweight Title?

  • 10 days ago
  • 18 views

Prior to about 2012, it’s doubtful many people expected Fabricio Werdum to wind up here. Just a couple months shy of his 39th birthday, Werdum sits atop the heavyweight mountain. As he prepares to ma read news >>

Pat Curran Taking it One Fight at a Time After Moving His Camp to Blackzilians

  • 7 days ago
  • 7 views

Looking to jumpstart his career with a move to the Blackzilians camp in Florida, former Bellator champ Pat Curran is taking things one fight at a time. read news >>