MMA News: Former UFC Champion Tito Ortiz Announces Retirement

By Miguel Torres, Posted: 01/06/17 03:51AM EST

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is making a permanent exit from professional mixed martial arts competition.

The 41-year-old Ortiz will be facing fellow former UFC veteran Chael Sonnes as the headliners of Bellator 170. The event will be taking place at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

Throughout his lengthy MMA career, which began with the UFC in 1997, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" has amassed a record of 18-12-1, with 12 wins by stoppage. As he enters his fight against Sonnen, he is coming off a first round submission loss to Liam McGeary, with the Bellator light heavyweight strap on the line.

His fight against Sonnen has turned personal more than anything, as the two men have been exchanging some verbal tirades since late 2016. And during a pre-fight conference call last week, Ortiz revealed that his upcoming fight will be his last.

"This retirement is well due. Twenty years of competition has pretty much, I'd still be fighting if it wasn't for my surgeries," Ortiz said (via

Throughout his career, Ortiz has undergone a number of medical procedures to repair the damages brought on by countless beatings through the battles he has had against tough opponents. Some on the laundry list of previous injuries include  torn ACL ligaments in both knees, fused C-3, C-4, C-6, C-7 disks in his neck, as well as C-4 and C-5 disk replacements.

He has also declared to having had 27 concussions and "hundreds of stitches", stating that his reason for retiring is that his "biggest enemy" has been his body. Most notably, he revealed to have fought retired veteran Forrest Griffin at UFC 106 in 2009 with a "cracked skull." Yet, despite the controversies he has been involved in, Ortiz says he wants to be remembered as a "fighter with integrity."

"A fighter who did it this way, who has respect because he wanted to push the envelope for the fighters," Ortiz said.  Surely he will be a candidate for the hall of fame at some point in the future.

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