Co-Main Event | Light Heavyweight · 205 lbs | MMA
Tito Ortiz defeats Forrest Griffin via 3 Round Decision
|12-4-0||Pro Record At Fight||12-2-0||Climbed to 13-4||Record After Fight||Fell to 12-3|
|-335 (Moderate Favorite)||Betting Odds||+275 (Moderate Underdog)|
|United States||Nationality||United States|
|Huntington Beach, California||Fighting out of||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|31 years, 2 months, 2 days||Age at Fight||26 years, 9 months|
|204.0 lbs (92.5 kgs)||Weigh-In Result||203.0 lbs (92.1 kgs)|
|6'3" (190cm)||Height||6'3" (191cm)|
|74.0" (188cm)||Reach||77.0" (196cm)|
|Team Punishment||Gym||Xtreme Couture|
- Bout Information
- Event: UFC 59: Reality Check
- Date: Saturday 04.15.2006
- Referee: John McCarthy
- Venue: Arrowhead Pond
- Enclosure: Octagon
- Location: Anaheim, California, United States
- Bout Billing: Co-Main Event (fight 7 of 9)
- Pro/Am: Professional
- Weight: 205 lbs (93.0 kg)
- TV Commentary: Mike Goldberg, Joe Rogan
- Broadcast: Aired Live on Main Card
- Post-Fight Interviewer: Joe Rogan
- Ortiz Total Disclosed Pay: $200,000
- Griffin Total Disclosed Pay: $16,000
Ortiz vs. Griffin I Wiki Update Wiki
After more than a year away from the promotion, during which he entertained offers from various competitors, former Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz returned to the UFC in 2006 to take on TUF 1 winner Forrest Griffin. Griffin, who had built a fan following since departing the reality show, had shown himself a game but still-green competitor, and was a moderate underdog heading into the biggest fight of his career to that point.
A fighter who had perfected the ground-and-pound style made famous by Mark Coleman, Ortiz was one of the most dominant light heavyweights in the world. Griffin, primarily a striker with solid submission skills, was the young lion and one of the bigger fighters in the weight division, said to walk around at as much as 240 lbs. between contests. When the two men clashed in the co-main event of UFC 59, it produced one of the greatest back-and-forth wars in MMA history.
In the first round, Ortiz did what most bettors thought he would; he got an easy takedown, forced Griffin against the cage, and reigned down unanswered elbows that had his foe bloody and frantic by the end of the round. Although he was taken down again in the second, Griffin looked surprisingly fresh for the punishment he had endured, and kept the round competitive with crisp boxing and unflagging cardio. Ortiz, by contrast, looked to be slowing, and was still throwing good standing combinations but not necessarily getting the better of the exchanges.
It was the third round, however, that would launch Griffin from reality show prospect to MMA superstar. After comfortably losing the first and handling himself better in the second, Griffin took charge in the third. Throughout the final five minutes of action, Griffin continuously caught an oncoming Ortiz with punches and leg kicks, bloodying the former champion. The crowd was delirious, and clearly swayed by the spirited performance put on by the TUF champion.
In the end, two of the three judges Octagon-side scored the contest in favor of Ortiz. While the decision was an unpopular one among the majority of fans, the fight still elevated Griffin’s status from promising young prospect to potential contender.
According to UFC commentator Joe Rogan, Griffin learned that he could contend with the elite of the light heavyweight division in the fight. Just two years later, he would go on to take the Light Heavyweight Championship, by winning another war with Pride great Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The Ortiz fight, still considered a classic, is singularly responsible for making Griffin into the contender he is today.