After forming a heated rivalry, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz choked out Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170 earlier this year. Following the victorious performance, Ortiz retired from mixed martial arts. While “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has returned from retirement before, it would appear that the former champion no longer has any intention of returning to the sport.
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Ortiz explained why Bellator 170 was his last performance.
“As a fighter, it’s time to say it’s over after 20 years of competition. I’m 42 years old. I’ve been through eight surgeries, and I still have my head on my shoulders, which I’m very, very lucky. Fortunate for the things that I’ve had through mixed martial arts, so I’m just trying to use the best of it to build the name of Tito Ortiz.
“I’m doing well, man. Just working hard and chasing this American dream, and I’m living it.”
When asked if a rematch with his heated rival Chael Sonnen would be enough to make his return, Ortiz added:
“You know what? I may kick Chael’s ass just one time, just because, maybe for free. Because I hate the guy. I really don’t want to, but I really dislike that guy a lot,. But I’m not looking forward to it, man. I’m not looking forward to training again. I’m not looking forward to being on the grind. But that guy just can’t shut his mouth about me.”
Still, Ortiz doubled down that this is the end of his MMA career.
“I’ve learned a lot through my life – mixed martial arts, as a business man, as an entreprenuer, and as a fighter and a father. It’s just time to shut that door and open up other doors.”