Tito Ortiz dropped an unexpected bomb yesterday at the UFC 140 open workouts. He told reporters that retirement is coming and he even has a specific date in mind. Via MMA Fighting:
“May 30, 2012,” he told reporters. At first it sounded like a joke. As if he was getting intentionally overly specific to mock the idea that something like this could be planned. After all, May 30 is a Wednesday. Is he going to end his career with a sparring session?
Then he kept going, and it became clear: Tito is serious about this.
“That’ll be 15 years,” Ortiz said of the May 30th mark. “15 years has been my goal. I make it to 15 years, that’d be my second fight, finishing this contract, maybe it’s time to hang up the gloves, walk away while I’m still healthy. I don’t want to get any more surgeries. I have three boys. I have a family to take care of. I’ve made enough money to take care of my family now.”
“What else do I got to prove?” Ortiz said. “I don’t have to prove anything else in this MMA world.”
It wasn’t long ago that Tito proclaimed he was finally 100% healthy following neck and back surgeries and planned to make an impact in the light heavyweight division so it’s seems a little odd that he’s suddenly talking about retirement. However, Tito added that this 15 year mark is “set in stone” in his mind, so he seems pretty serious about it. Before he goes though, he has one request. He wants his rubber match with Forrest Griffin.
“My last fight I would love to be against Forrest [Griffin],” he said. “I think I deserve that. I beat him the first time. The second time we fought, I beat him and they gave it to him. Let’s do three of a kind.”
Their second fight didn’t exactly leave anyone clamoring for a third one, but it seems like a reasonable request give how much Tito has done for the sport and the UFC. If he really only has one more fight left after this weekend, Forrest Griffin is as good of an opponent as any.