Crooks wants to know:
What’s next for Tito Ortiz?
Thanks for the question Crooks. At this point it’s tough to say what’s next for Tito Ortiz. He is in a situation where he has lost twice to the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. The one positive for Ortiz was he looked great in the fight with Liddell. It’s tough to say what the UFC will do next for Tito, he may get a comback fight much like Matt Hughes and Rich Franklin against someone who is tough but should be beaten.
I currently think the best match the UFC could put together is a showdown between Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Tito Ortiz. The one downer is the fact that both guys are coming off tough losses to Chuck Liddell. The UFC may want to give them a chance to get a win or two before they set this one up but they desperately need to in the near future. The fans want it and both guys are very popular, marketable fighters.
Ortiz hasn’t hesitated from speaking his mind on the situation with Babalu either as he called him a “B level fighter”. The war of words took place in September after Babalu lost to Chuck Liddell at UFC 62. Ortiz went onto the radio and said:
“Renato Babalu is not really as good as they try to make him to be. They kind of painted the picture more of what they think. I think that was a typical fight for Liddell. That fight will go the same way each and every time. The first time went 2 minutes and 30 seconds and this second one went 1 minute. Renato Babalu is nor really that great of a fighter. He’s a great ‘B’ fighter and an average ‘A’ fighter. He’s not at the level of (Randy) Couture, Liddell or myself.”
Babalu fired back saying:
“I earned my title shot after my results in the octagon. I won my way up to the title shot against Liddell and Tito has his fight guaranteed on a contract. I won my way up with 10 wins in a row with the last three being in the UFC by submission. Tito had two victories in his recent UFC fights with the judges helping him… very controversial results, not convincing!!! Even though I believe it’s impossible, I really hope Tito beats Liddell because it will be easier to smash his face and get the title from him instead of Liddell.”
It’s tough to say who will be next but we know one thing, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Tito Ortiz won’t be locking horns in the octagon as they are both friends and training partners. As you said in your email there have been “rumors” floating around that he may get matched up with either Babalu, Evans, Griffin, or Jardine.
Right now I’d say Jardine or Babalu would be the most likely to be Ortiz’s next opponent. Jardine is coming off of a big win over Forrest Griffin and he is now in a situation where he has to face the division’s best and he’ll find that in Ortiz. After that I’d say Babalu vs. Ortiz is next with the winner getting tossed back into title contention. I don’t see Griffin vs. Ortiz happening right now as both guys are coming off of tough losses and being poster boys of the UFC it will do neither fighter any good losing. Griffin doesn’t want to face a healthy Tito Ortiz after being knocked out by Keith Jardine.
One thing we need to keep in mind is the UFC also acquired the contract of Lyoto Machida so he is a possible opponent for all of the top guys in the division. He will be fighting Sam Hogar at UFC 67 and if he wins that the future will be bright.
So at this point I’d say Jardine seems like the front-runner followed by Babalu.
Feel free to e-mail us your thoughts or questions.