Tito Ortiz' Chance At Future Belt Contention

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2/17/07 1:33:06PM
After Tito Ortiz' loss to Chuck Liddell at UFC 66 does Tito Ortiz still have the chance to become a champion once again in the UFC?

Many things have to be taken into account for this situation, does Tito still have the will to want to be a champion? Does the UFC still believe Ortiz could be marketed as the light heavyweight beltholder, or does the colorful personality of Rampage suit the role better (just from a marketing standpoint)? Has Chuck Liddell completely shattered Tito Ortiz' chance at becoming champ or will he come back a stronger fighter?

Tito is still young and has a long way to go before he hits the point where his body can't compete anymore, and Tito's one of the fighters that has some of the best cardiovascular conditioning in the world. He is indeed improving upon striking, and seems to know what he's doing on his feet which could leave him much less vulnerable against up and coming bangers such as Forrest and Bisping, but it seems that after the loss with Chuck, Titos sitting in the backseat of the bus with the likes of TUFers, future signed talents of the UFC, and Rampage seated in the front.

To leave Tito in the dust wouldn't seem right for the UFC since promoters such as Pride could easily attain Tito Ortiz gaining plenty of publicity since he's such a well known fighter. However, at the moment Dana White seems to be tangled in thoughts of promoting his new found superstars (Rampage, Crocop) who haven't had one bout in the UFC yet.

What are your thoughts?
2/17/07 2:18:17PM
In a word , Yes. While I think it highly unlikely we will see him against Chuck again anytime soon, it's possible. IMO he would have to rail off a streak of 4 or 5 victories against the other top LHV'S in the UFC. There is also a chance Chuck would lose or retire, and then the marketability alone would probably force the UFC to put him in a title match again, as long as he is still winning.Personally I hope he work's his back up again just so I can laugh at my little brother and roommate when Chuck KO's him again. Tito fan's seem to be eternal optimist in this regard.
2/17/07 3:24:15PM
I don't think it's possible, that Tito fights Chuck again... I guess Tito will have a title shot when Chuck retires or loses his title... I hope someone beats chuck because this weightclass is not very interesting now (i mean the title)

It's the same story with Anndrei Arlovski...
2/17/07 3:33:12PM

Posted by CtOlaf

I don't think it's possible, that Tito fights Chuck again... I guess Tito will have a title shot when Chuck retires or loses his title... I hope someone beats chuck because this weightclass is not very interesting now (i mean the title)

I think the weight class is getting interesting with the arrival of Rampage and the upcoming of Rashad Evans Id love to see Rampage and Evans fight soon.But to answer the topic I dont see Tito fighting Chuck again but he could get another title shot sometime maybe when Rampage beats Chuck!
2/17/07 6:29:19PM
If he stays in the UFC for long enough that Chuck gets detroned or retires. Then he is definitly a candidate for a title shot. Aslong as Chuck has the belt, there is no way that he will get a third chance at Chuck UNLESS the UFC has there hands tied with nobody else to challenge Chuck. Babalu has the same predicament as Tito. He's one of the UFC's best but has already lost twice to the king.
2/17/07 9:48:27PM
Tito is still a game competitor with all the physical tools to be the champion. But he needs to work on his strategy and mental preparation. From his last fight with Chuck it's evident that he doesn't really devise a good strategy or just doesn't stick to his gameplan.

He was telegraphing and single and double LTDs from real far out. Tito didnt really play to his strengths against Chuck (being bigger, stronger, and possessing a phenomanol conditioning). The only time he took Chuck down was when he clinched him and just overpowered him.

Tito can one day hold the title again and I think he can actually beat Chuck one day, he just needs to evolve with the rest of MMA. It's 2007, not 1999.
2/17/07 11:24:35PM

Posted by Dadaman

he just needs to evolve with the rest of MMA. It's 2007, not 1999.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said he needs to evolve with the rest of the sport. IMO he's still the same exact fighter he was at the beginning of his career. His abilities worked back then, but it's obvious that its not gonna work now a days with the top level fighters.

As far as future belt contention for Ortiz, I couldn't say for sure. I know that I personally have absolutely no interest in seeing him fight Liddell again. IMO he never even earned a second shot at him. He hadn't even fought any top ranked fighters leading up to the fight. We can all argue about where Griffin ranks, but then again we could all argue about who really won that fight. However, Tito does have a large fan base and it was definatly a easy sell at the time. And who else would they have given it to?

Now, just because myself and alot of other mma enthusiasts wouldn't wanna see a Tito/Chuck 3, doesn't mean it wont happen. As I stated above Tito has a large fan base and as hippy stated, alot of Tito fans still think, even after the second fight, Tito can beat Chuck. Therefore, I wouldn't be suprised to see it again. It would probably still sell. All I can do is hope he earns it if he gets another shot. IMO he should have to beat a couple top 5 ranked opponents, not a out of his prime Ken Shamrock 3 times.
2/17/07 11:40:16PM
I dont understand how no one would want to see Tito/Chuck 3. I cant say i am a Tito fan. I belive he did a great job on the TUF show as a coach and maybe showed the Asshole side is just to sell. Tito took Chuck further than anyone in a year. He won that second round, and i dont think he was hurt in the third. After the Ref let it go in the first( which if the ref stopped it i would have no complaint) Tito figured he could let Chuck expend some energy. Everything depends on Chucks next fights more than Tito's. If Chuck continues the 1st round KO's then why would you not want to see the guy that has done better than anyone esle so far. I like good fights. Not just 1st round highlight reel shots. Ive seen enough of Chucks highlights, great fighter no question. Chuck losing is better for the divsion and the UFC in my opionon. Right now TIto has shown he the closest to accomplishing that.
2/18/07 12:41:53AM
I dont see anyone in the UFC that can beat Tito besides Chuck....So his chances are very good....he will be champ agian one day
2/18/07 3:41:50AM
The reason Chuck and Tito fought so much in the first place is because they were completely outclassing the other UFC LHW. But I don't see Tito getting a title shot too soon because now there are guys like Rashad Evans, Keith Jardine, Rampage, and Babalu. They've all established themselves as contenders for the title. I've always said that I don't think that Tito will get another title shot while the belt belongs to Chuck. But let's say that Chuck loses the title to Rampage for example. Assuming he doesn't retire, which I doubt he would, Chuck would still be the #1 contender for the next shot and these guys, including Tito, would still have to get past him if they wanted there shot at the belt. Tito was a powerful force and still is in the upper echelons of the LHW division. But with all this new talent coming in it's not just Chuck and Tito anymore.
2/18/07 4:27:02AM
i cant see it for a long time based on 2 reasons

he needs 4 or 5 wins againts top fighters to deserve another shot, and thats pretty much 2 years of fighting

second, i dont see chuck still fighting then (or at least having the belt) as he wil lbe pushing 40 by then....now if rampage takes it away, then we run into reason 2, tito and rampage have both said they wont fight each other....so against chuck he needs a lot of wins, and rampage is the next best bet to be champion and tito wont fight him...he could spend a long time ranked #2 or #3 in that division
2/18/07 11:17:12AM
Ive said all along alot is based on what will happen with Chucks next fights. I think rashad should get a shot, then maybe Jardine. IF Babalu gets some impressive wins then throw him in htere to, but he was also on the Chuck highlight reel of first round KO's. I love the fact that there is more compatition in the division. If Tito never makes it back to tile again i think that is a godd sign of how strong the division as gotten in such a short time. I just dont see how guys say they never want to see the matchup again when he had the best showing in 1 1/2 years.

I think Rampage has as good a shot has anybody right now. I think Rashad is a hell of an athlete and is constantly growing as a fighter. He needs some more time to mature. If he fights Chuck this year, which i belive he will, he'll lose.

As far as Chuck being the gatekeeper to the belt if he loses the UFC doesnt seem to buy into that thinking. Monson got his shot by beating everyone else. It deosnt look like Cro Cop will have to go thru Arlovski, and neither will Randy.
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