ONE LAST STAND MIXED-MARTIAL ARTS SUPERSTAR ORTIZ GETS IN THE OCTAGON IN WHAT COULD BE HIS FINAL MATCH WITH UFC.Byline: JAMES SONYE,
It is times like he's facing now when Tito Ortiz is at his most dangerous.
Throughout his life, the man known as "The Huntington Beach Huntington Beach, city (1990 pop. 181,519), Orange co., S Calif., on the Pacific coast, across from Santa Catalina Island, in an oil-producing area; inc. 1909. It manufactures aerospace vehicles, aircraft parts, optical instruments, and heat transfer equipment. Bad Boy" has faced times when it appears that his career, even his life, is on the brink of taking that first step on the path to destruction.
When he was a child, it was his heroin-addicted parents. As a teenager, it was his relationships with other adolescents who seemed to find the dangerous path as the preferred way to travel. Even early in his mixed martial arts For the fighting styles that combine different arts, see .
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a combat sport in which a wide variety of fighting techniques are used, including striking and grappling. career, it was falling victim to a guillotine choke The guillotine choke is a chokehold in martial arts applied from in front of the opponent. The choke involves using the arms to encircle the opponent's neck in a fashion similar to a guillotine. and being forced to tap out to an opponent he was so thoroughly dominating.
Each of those examples, along with many others only he knows about, could have easily pulled Ortiz the wrong way.
Saturday, the 33-year-old fighter will be stepping into the Octagon for perhaps the final time when he faces Lyoto Machida Lyoto Carvalho Machida (born May 30 1978 in Salvador, Brazil) is a Japanese-Brazilian professional mixed martial arts fighter. Son of a Japanese-Brazilian Shotokan karate master Yoshizo Machida, Lyoto is considered by many to be a rising star in MMA, having secured victories over (12-0-0, 3 KOs) on the undercard un·der·card
The event or events coming before and supporting the main event, as of boxing matches. of the "UFC UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship
UFC Universidade Federal do Ceará (Brazilian University)
UFC Unified Facilities Criteria
UFC Uniform Fire Code
UFC Uniform Freight Classification
UFC United Facilities Criteria
UFC USACE Finance Center 84: Ill Will" pay-per-view event in Las Vegas Las Vegas (läs vā`gəs), city (1990 pop. 258,295), seat of Clark co., S Nev.; inc. 1911. It is the largest city in Nevada and the center of one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States. .
"Ill Will" is as fitting a title as one could think of for Ortiz's departure from UFC, the only MMA (Microcomputer Managers Association, Inc.) A membership organization with chapters throughout the U.S. that was devoted to educating personnel responsible for personal computers. It disbanded in 1996.
Mma - A fast Mathematica-like system, in Allegro CL by R. Fateman, 1991. organization for which he has fought during his 10-year career. Ortiz's public feud with UFC president and co-owner Dana White Dana White (born July 28, 1969 in Manchester, Connecticut) is the current President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts organization based in the United States. has reached a point at which neither feels he can work with the other anymore.
"There's been a lot of things said and I feel (White's) disrespected me to the point that I don't want to be here anymore," Ortiz said. "I don't like his tactics. He bullies people and he's insulted me by calling me dumb and stupid. It's gotten very personal."
Said White in a recent interview: "(Tito) cares about one thing and nothing else, and that is himself. He has this thing with me and him, but it won't be me who he'll be fighting on Saturday. He has to focus more on Machida than me or his next steps."
The direction of those next steps is still unknown. But it might be premature to count out Ortiz despite his imminent departure from the premiere MMA organization.
In his newly-released autobiography "This Is Gonna Hurt: The Life of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion," Ortiz revealed the hardships he faced while growing up. In addition to his parents' drug addictions and hanging with a rough crowd, Ortiz also sold drugs and admits that, with the exception of heroin -- his parents' drug of choice -- he sampled many of the products he distributed.
Gradually, though, athletics began to pull Ortiz into another direction. After finishing fourth in the state wrestling meet at Huntington Beach High his senior year, Ortiz won the junior college championship at Golden West College. He then transferred to Cal State Bakersfield, where he trained with NCAA NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association and world champion Stephen Neal For the United States congressman, see .
Stephen Neal (born October 9, 1976 in San Diego, California) is an American football offensive lineman for the New England Patriots of the National Football League.
He was signed by the New England Patriots on July 23, 2001. .
After college, Ortiz began working with fellow Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, native David "Tank" Abbott. After accompanying Abbott to a couple of UFC events as a corner man, Ortiz made his Octagon debut at "UFC 13: The Ultimate Force" on May 30, 1997. Officially labeled as a "streetfighter" during his entrance, Ortiz stopped Wes Albritton in just 31 seconds.
Later that evening, due to an injury to a fighter in the main draw, Ortiz earned the right to face Guy Mezger Guy Mezger (January 1, 1968 in Houston, Texas) is an American martial artist who competed in professional combat sports ranging from full-contact karate, kickboxing, and boxing, but is most recognized as a mixed martial arts fighter (retired from competition 01-25-05). in the finals of the light-heavyweight tournament. Mezger entered the fight with a 13-4-2 record and trained with the "Lion's Den," which was led by Ken Shamrock Ken Shamrock (born Kenneth Wayne Kilpatrick on February 11, 1964 in Macon, Georgia) is a legendary American mixed martial arts fighter and former professional wrestler. .
Ortiz, who was still attending Golden West and fighting as an amateur, came out strong and opened a pair of cuts on Mezger's head, forcing the referee to halt the action to have the ringside ring·side
1. The area or seats immediately outside an arena or ring, as at a prizefight.
2. A place providing a close view of a spectacle. physician check the cuts.
Ortiz, perhaps smelling victory, drove in hard again on Mezger to regain his dominant position. Instead, Mezger sunk in a guillotine choke and forced Ortiz to tap out at the 3-minute mark. A clearly-frustrated Ortiz quickly exited the Octagon as members of the "Lion's Den" celebrated.
In January 1999, Ortiz returned to action, defeating Jerry Bohlander Jerry Bohlander (born on February 12, 1974) was an American mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. He is most notable for his UFC appearances and was the winner of the first lightweight (under 200 lb) tournament at UFC 12. via strikes, setting up a rematch with Mezger. That March, the two met in Mississippi at "UFC 19: Ultimate Young Guns" with Ortiz earning a TKO victory with a barrage of strikes after less than 10 minutes of action.
"I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. that I'd be the fighter I am today if I hadn't lost to Mezger," Ortiz said. "It hurt a lot and I vowed I would never lose that way again. I learned the guillotine guillotine
Instrument for inflicting capital punishment by decapitation. A minimal wooden structure, it supported a heavy blade that, when released, slid down in vertical guides to sever the victim's head. inside-out after that. How to apply it; how to counter it; how to counter its counters. I swore to myself I'd never be forced to tap out again, and I haven't."
The rematch with Mezger also set the stage for MMA's biggest feud: Shamrock vs. Ortiz.
After defeating Mezger, Ortiz gestured toward the Lion's Den and fired imaginary guns at them, as well as some profane gestures. An irate Shamrock attempted to climb into the Octagon to confront Ortiz, but was restrained.
"To me, the Lion's Den was like the Cobra Kai in 'The Karate Kid' movie," Ortiz said. "Part of my reaction after the fight was the emotion of avenging my loss to Mezger. I was very emotional because I knew all of the hard work I had put in to get there.
"Don't get me wrong, they were good fighters in the Lion's Den, but I didn't like how they dealt with people. They acted like they were better than everyone else."
In September 1999, Ortiz learned another lesson in defeat, this time to another Lion's Den fighter, Frank Shamrock Frank Shamrock (born Frank Alisio Juarez III on December 8, 1972 in Santa Monica, California) is an American mixed martial arts fighter. Shamrock was the first Light Heavyweight champion in the UFC and retired as the 5-time undefeated champion. . Despite being the brother of his bitter rival, Ortiz this time showed respect toward his opponent.
"I had the opportunity to hang out with Frank a little bit before our fight and I just liked how he treated people," Ortiz said. "He didn't act like he was too good for people ... too good for his fans. He was just a normal guy who liked to fight."
After that loss, Ortiz reeled off six consecutive victories. After defeating Wanderlei Silva Wanderlei Cesar Silva, (born July 3,1976 in Curitiba, Brazil) is a Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, who has competed in Japan's PRIDE Fighting Championships and the American based Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). for the UFC light-heavyweight title at "UFC 25: Ultimate Japan 3" in April 2000, he successfully defended his title a record five times. The highlight of that run was a third-round TKO over Ken Shamrock at "UFC 40: Vendetta vendetta (vĕndĕt`ə) [Ital.,=vengeance], feud between members of two kinship groups to avenge a wrong done to a relative. Although the term originated in Corsica, the custom has also been practiced in other parts of Italy, in other " in November 2002.
But Ortiz's title run came to an end with a loss to Randy Couture Randy Duane Couture (born June 22, 1963) is a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, Greco-Roman wrestler, and folkstyle wrestler. Couture is the only athlete to have held championship titles in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions of the UFC, as well as the only in September 2003 at "UFC 44: Undisputed." That setback was followed by a second-round knockout loss to Chuck Liddell in April 2004 at "UFC 47: It's On."
Ortiz fought two more times -- decision victories over Patrick Cote and Vitor Belfort in 2005 -- before leaving UFC for nearly a year.
Because of his feud with White, Ortiz flirted with the possibility of signing with another MMA organization, or entering the world of professional wrestling. Instead, he and White attempted to mend fences, and Ortiz re-signed with UFC and headlined "UFC 59: Reality Check" -- the organization's California debut -- on April 15, 2006. Ortiz won a split decision over Forrest Griffin, fighting professionally in front of his hometown fans for the first time.
Ortiz rekindled his feud with Ken Shamrock on UFC's "The Ultimate Fighter" television series, which was among the highest-rated shows on SpikeTV. The two fought twice more in 2006, with Ortiz winning by first-round TKO each time.
Point of no return
With his popularity -- he had begun dating adult film star Jenna Jameson -- at seemingly an all-time high, Ortiz signed for a rematch against Chuck Liddell on Dec. 30, 2006. "UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz" drew a total gate of more than $5 million and topped one million pay-per-view buys for the first time in UFC history.
Though he lasted longer in the rematch, Ortiz still fell by TKO. But it wasn't the loss that bothered Ortiz most.
"I remember sitting in Dana's office talking about the kind of money Mike Tyson makes and asking him when we (the fighters) will be making that kind of money," Ortiz said. "He said, 'When you start doing pay-per-view numbers like Tyson, you'll make Tyson money.' Well, there you go. We set all kinds of records that night and nothing changed. That's about when I reached the point of no return."
Since that loss to Liddell, Ortiz (15-5-1, 8 KOs, two submissions) has fought just once -- a draw against Rashad Evans in July 2007 at "UFC 73: Stacked."
Ortiz has made it clear he's not interested in returning to UFC after this weekend's fight.
"He is out there trying to say his next move will be outside of the UFC," White said. "Well, the truth is, we are not even in a bidding war for him -- we aren't even bidding at all for Tito. We are not in the Tito Ortiz business at all."
Ortiz admits he likely will be talking to EliteXC, which recently signed a deal with CBS (Cell Broadcast Service) See cell broadcast. to air its fights on prime-time specials on network TV. Other options include Strikeforce and Affliction.
EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw has publicly expressed interest in signing Ortiz, with possible matchups against Frank Shamrock and Kimbo Slice.
"I think I could bring a lot to one of these organizations," Ortiz said. "The fans know me, they know what kind of fighter I am and how hard of a worker I am. I think people still want to see me fight. I'm leaving UFC because of personal issues, not because of anything having to do with my fighting skills. I can still be a big asset to a company."
(1 -- color) Mixed-martial arts star Tito Ortiz, fighting Rashad Evans on a UFC card in 2007, could take his talent to a rival organization, such as EliteXC, Strikeforce or Affliction.
Special to the Daily News
(2) Tito Ortiz, posing with girlfriend Jenna Jameson, will fight this weekend in perhaps his final UFC event.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images