The two former champions, Tito “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz and Forrest Griffin, are scheduled to fight each other in one of the most anticipated rematch fights in UFC history. Their first match-up was in April of 2006 over at the UFC 59 ‘Reality Check’ event. Although the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” won a razor-thin split decision, Ortiz still feels that he was the better fighter that night.
Ortiz explains how difficult it has been for him to come back into full-time training, especially after undergoing back surgery. Also, the last time he fought was against Lyoto Machida back in May of 2008 at the UFC 84 ‘Ill Will’ event. It will be one year and a half before he returns to the Octagon so many believe ring rust will play a major role in his upcoming UFC 106 fight against Griffin. Not only does Ortiz have to worry about the one and half year absence, but this bout is a must win for both fighters. Griffin is coming off back to back losses and Ortiz needs to prove that he still belongs in the UFC light heavyweight division.
From Tito Ortiz:
“From low tide to high tide…. You figure in losing the title [to Evans] that Forrest has doubt; he had doubt against Silva. This is all or nothing for him. And this is my comeback fight. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a challenge for me. Not pain. I have no [back] pain, but I’m dealing with the fatigue from not fighting so long. I’m like 80 to 90 percent now, not 100. Coming back is hard mentally and physically. So even though I won’t be going anywhere — I have five fights left on my contract — it’s kind of do or die for both of us. But I promise I’m going to get in there and entertain. I can’t wait…. [The first fight] might have been a split-decision, but I thought I won. Look at my face after the fight, and look at his, and you’ll also see my hand was raised afterward…. Two former champions. A lot of fans hate Forrest now after the Silva fight, but he usually brings it, and I always come to fight”