NL-Although the porn folks, and most of the peeps I talked to on Twitter (including myself & War Machine) thought Tito had it in the bag, our support wasn’t enough to overcome his old injuries. Congrads to Griffin on a split decision win.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
by Mike Sloan (ms[email protected])
LAS VEGAS — Forrest Griffin waited more than three years for a second crack at Tito Ortiz, and he made the most of the opportunity.
Griffin avenged his April 2006 split decision defeat to Ortiz with a split verdict of his own in the UFC 106 “Ortiz vs. Griffin 2” main event on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Two judges sided with Griffin by 30-27 and 29-28 scores; a third scored it 29-28 for Ortiz.
The victory snapped the first two-fight losing streak of Griffin’s career, which culminated with his knockout loss to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in August.
“I see Anderson over there,” Griffin said. “He broke me. He broke me. Tito was a great fight for me to come back. I think we’re going to have to do a third. That’s one to one, man.”
The bout itself was hotly contested. Ortiz had a difficult time trading with Griffin on his feet, as he ate stiff jabs and crude rights and lefts. At one point in the opening round, Griffin buzzed Ortiz with a right-left combination, this after battling back to his feet following Ortiz’s successful single-leg takedown. Ortiz closed the round with a series of meager strikes of his own but ate a few too many clean punches.
Ortiz came out firing in the second round and secured a double-leg takedown after Griffin missed a kick to the body and slipped. Ortiz fought from inside his foe’s guard and delivered a series of thudding elbows, but Griffin again scrambled back to his feet. Ortiz tried to trade with his fellow former champion, but a front kick to the face sent his mouthpiece flying across the Octagon. Ortiz, however, solidified his advantage in the round with another takedown, which led to a barrage of punishing elbows. The strikes lacerated Griffin above his right eye, but the cagy veteran deftly swept Ortiz with a half minute left in the period and avoided further damage.
“I was setting that sweep up for about a minute while he was elbowing me in the face,” Griffin said. “It works good in jiu-jitsu; when the elbows in the face come, not such a great sweep.”
A bloodied Griffin kept Ortiz at bay with swift footwork and smoother, more refined strikes in the final stanza. Ortiz failed with a lazy takedown attempt early in the round and never came close to catching Griffin with a takedown. Griffin burned the former champion with stinging leg kicks and pesky front kicks. Whenever Ortiz drew close, he zipped a jab or hook to his face. Ortiz failed to close the distance effectively in the final round, as fatigue would not allow him to pull the trigger.
Ortiz, who claimed to have entered the fight with a bulging disc and cracked skull, addressed the post-fight boos he received.
“I step in this cage, and I put a show on,” he said. “Were you guys satisfied with the show? It sucks losing. Forrest was the better man tonight. I gotta give it to him.”