MENU
#Conor McGregor #UFC 211 #Nate Diaz #Cris Cyborg #Bellator 179 #Rory MacDonald #Paul Daley #Diaz vs. McGregor 2 #Daniel Cormier #Angela Magana #Jon Jones


UFC 132 Fighter of the Night: Tito Ortiz

Tito Ortiz

Tito Ortiz

For all the great performances at UFC 132, the one that sticks out most has to be Tito Ortiz and his win over Ryan Bader.

Now, the UFC does their part and awards bonuses to fighters for submission, fight, or knockout of the night, but we’re going to take it one step further and award Tito Ortiz with the “Fighter of the Night.”

Upside: recognition for overcoming impossible odds.

Downside: no $75,000 bonus like the UFC awards (sorry, Tito).

What Ortiz accomplished in Vegas on Saturday night was not only unexpected, but it came when the MMA world and the organization he fights for all but gave up on him. Many fan posts across Twitter and Facebook read something along the lines, “I hope Bader retires Tito.” The odds were stacked against the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” so much so that nearly every expert who covers the sport of MMA predicted him to be decimated by a younger and stronger Ryan Bader.

One submission later, everyone is wrong – myself included.

Ortiz won a fight for the first time in five years and he owes it to a change in preparation. Specifically, Ortiz stayed close to home, instead of going up to the mountains of Southern California like he usually does.

“It’s the rebirth of Tito Ortiz. I’m injury-free. I’m very, very healthy. I had a good training camp,” Ortiz told UFC.com shortly after his UFC 132 fight with Ryan Bader. “I did it at home, I didn’t go up to Big Bear. It’s the first time in 11 years I haven’t done it (in Big Bear). I think being mentally focused really helped out a lot. I have a lot of personal problems with my family and stuff and I really focused on the positive.”

Tito Ortiz submits Ryan Bader

Tito Ortiz submits Ryan Bader

Jason Parillo, who trained Ortiz leading into his UFC 132 bout with Bader, provided the former UFC light heavyweight champion with motivational tips and positive feedback while going through the home-based training camp. The game of mixed martial arts is just as mental as it is physical and the support he got from those in his camp made it easier for Ortiz to focus on the end-goal.

Despite the personal drama that Ortiz has gone through recently with his family, one thing remained clear: winning at UFC 132 was a high priority. Getting back on the winning track proved to him that he can overcome obstacles – both personal and professional – and still has potential to do damage, just as he did in his heyday.

“I think it all came down to my trainers,” Ortiz said. “I got to give it to Jason Parillo. Every single day in camp – we would go six days a week – every day in camp, he said, ‘Tito, believe in yourself.’

“You got to understand, this game of MMA, it’s very mental, very, very mental. Coming off of five loses in a row, a lot of personal stuff kind of (dragged) me down,  (made me) rebirth myself and break me out of that egg and be the true champion I really am.”

It’s things like these that give Ortiz the “Fighter of the Night” award. He stepped up and knocked one out of the park when no one expected him to, and did so in a night full of first-round finishes.

Now that Ortiz lives to fight another day with a Zuffa contract, he wants to get back in the mix, immediately. With the impact win in his back pocket, Ortiz is looking to right his wrongs in the form of getting back at the ones he’s faced before.

Ortiz wants rematches with both Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans.

“I would like to fight Forrest again, I would like to fight Rashad again. Those are the two guys,” he said. “I gave Dana his opportunity to find someone to beat me and it didn’t work. Bader was (expletive) out. So I think this was my chance to get me shots at the guys that I thought I beat already.

“Give me another chance at them.”

Honorable mention: Dominick Cruz

Cruz goes with the head kick

Cruz goes with the head kick

Urijah Faber once took Dominick Cruz down to the mat, mounted him, and slapped on a painful-looking guillotine choke that forced forced Cruz to submit and lose his bid for the WEC featherweight title.

Oh, how revenge can be sweet.

On Saturday night, the stage was set for round-two, only this time Cruz was the champion and Faber was the challenger. Also, the match-up was at bantamweight and both fighters weighed in 10 pounds lighter than their last fight. Everything was different from the previous time these two met, including the outcome, as Cruz got back at Faber with a unanimous decision win.

“It was fun to talk trash,” Cruz said during the UFC 132 post-fight press conference. “Sometimes it’s easy to talk trash about a guy like Urijah. But I have nothing for respect for the guy.”

With the win, Cruz can go on record and say he’s beaten every man that’s ever stood in front of him in his professional career.

Bragging rights are always nice; almost as nice as “Fighter of the Night Honorable Mention.”

Well, maybe bragging rights are better.

In any case, well done, gentlemen. Well done.

Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.

Erik Fontanez is a staff writer for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow
@Erik_Fontanez on Twitter or e-mail Erik a question or comment.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Cortney Casey hopes Jessica Aguilar 'sticks to her Mexican ways' at UFC 211

  • 12 days ago
  • 5 views

DALLAS – Cortney Casey has no time for dilly dallying in her MMA career. Her lone goal is to fight the best competition available with hope of eventually claiming a world title, but she refuses to ac read news >>

UFC 211's Jorge Masvidal: Of all people, why not make Anderson Silva happy?

  • 12 days ago
  • 230 views

DALLAS – UFC welterweight standout Jorge Masvidal hasn’t kept up with ex-middleweight champ Anderson Silva’s drama with the promotion. He’s got a fight to worry about. Filed under: Featured, News, UF read news >>

The Complete Guide to UFC 211: Miocic vs. Dos Santos 2

  • 12 days ago
  • 2 views

Start the Dallas theme song. Now slowly fold in the fisticuffs. Don't be stingy, either. Now we've got something. Welcome once again to big league MMA. After a very long stretch of spotty cards, here read news >>

Yup, it's official: No Anderson Silva at UFC 212

  • 12 days ago
  • 8 views

Former longtime middleweight champion Anderson Silva is officially off the UFC 212 card.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Anderson Silva Officially Removed from UFC 212 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 35 views

UFC officials removed Anderson Silva from the UFC 212 fight card on Thursday, offering refunds to jilted fans. read news >>

Who ya got?! Are fighters picking Stipe Miocic or Junior Dos Santos in UFC 211's headliner?

  • 12 days ago
  • 39 views

First things first: You’ll have a hard time finding two headliners that fellow fighters like more than UFC 211’s Stipe Miocic and Junior Dos Santos.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, read news >>

Anderson Silva Officially Removed from UFC 212 Fight Card

  • 12 days ago
  • 5 views

Anderson Silva is officially off the UFC 212 fight card. UFC officials announced Silva would be taken off the card Thursday, per MMA Junkie, days after the Brazilian legend announced it himself. "I r read news >>

UFC 211's Jessica Andrade: It's what inside that counts, not Jedrzejczyk's flashy gym

  • 12 days ago
  • 8 views

DALLAS – Legend has it UFC women’s strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk showed up unannounced to South Florida’s American Top Team and proclaimed herself part of the team.Filed under: Featured, Featu read news >>

UFC boss Dana White sets deadline for Conor McGregor negotiations to fight Floyd Mayweather

  • 12 days ago
  • 58 views

UFC President Dana White insists he’s not going to wait much longer for progress in negotiations for a Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing match.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Fight Deadline Is Sunday, Says Dana White

  • 12 days ago
  • 27 views

UFC President Dana White isn't going to let a potential Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight hold up his promotion much longer. During a Thursday appearance on the Jim Rome Show on CBS Sports (v read news >>