Ortiz, who has come out of retirement before, told MMAjunkie on Friday that he’s “comfortably retired now” and has no intention of competing ever again.
“As a fighter, it’s time to say it’s over after 20 years of competition,” the UFC Hall of Famer said. “I’m 42 years old. I’ve been through eight surgeries, and I still have my head on my shoulders, which I’m very, very lucky. Fortunate for the things that I’ve had through mixed martial arts, so I’m just trying to use the best of it to build the name of Tito Ortiz.
“I’m doing well, man. Just working hard and chasing this American dream, and I’m living it.”
Ortiz (19-12-1), a former light heavyweight champion, first retired in 2012 after a 27-fight UFC career ended with a second loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148. Ortiz’s retirement didn’t last long, though, as he signed with Bellator and returned to the cage in 2014.
Ortiz competed four times with the promotion, going 3-1. That includes a rear-naked choke submission win over Sonnen (30-15-1) in January at Bellator 170. Ever since then – much like before the fight – the two men have engaged in a war of words on social media and in the press.
In August, following neck surgery, Ortiz posted a video on Instagram updating his condition and seemed to call out Sonnen when he ended with these words: “Now it’s time to get ready, because, Chael, I’m kicking your ass.”
Asked if a rematch with Sonnen could actually lure him out of retirement, Ortiz mostly joked with his response.
“You know what? I may kick Chael’s ass just one time, just because, maybe for free,” Ortiz said, laughing. “Because I hate the guy.”
Then Ortiz’s tone of voice changed.
“I really don’t want to, but I really dislike that guy a lot,” he continued. “But I’m not looking forward to it, man. I’m not looking forward to training again. I’m not looking forward to being on the grind. But that guy just can’t shut his mouth about me.”
While Ortiz’s disdain for Sonnen is real, he insists the potential for a return to fighting isn’t. Ortiz these days is focused on other endeavors, including his sports management company, Primetime 360, which represents UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. He also has the newly formed Tito Ortiz Auto Group, a wholesale and retail car dealership.
There’s also Hollywood. Ortiz has a part in Tyler Perry’s “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween,” which hits theaters next Friday, and is hopeful of future acting opportunities.
So, fighting again? It looks unlikely.
“I’ve learned a lot through my life – mixed martial arts, as a business man, as an entreprenuer, and as a fighter and a father,” Ortiz said. “It’s just time to shut that door and open up other doors.”
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