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Opening Round: Tito and his Trilogies

Soon-to-be-retired light heavyweight Tito Ortiz recently came out to express his desire to duke it out one final time before calling it quits on a legendary career. As it turns out, he also already has an opponent or two in mind who he’s hoping to hook up with this summer. However, if he’s serious (which I suspect he is) I’d like to call for his retirement right away because he’s clearly taken too many blows to the head.

And I quote, courtesy of Fightline, “Forrest (Griffin is possible), I know everybody would love to see me against Chuck (Liddell) – we’ll see what (UFC president) Dana (White) has to offer. Let’s make my last fight a memorable one.”

Who exactly are these people who want to see Ortiz vs. Liddell III, or Griffin vs. Ortiz III for that matter, and why are they not being given higher doses of medication? A trilogy is only required when there is both a legitimate reason to create one as well as the public’s hunger for more. Return of the Jedi? Check. Speed 3? Not so much.

And there’s no serious debating against either of the trilogies Ortiz wants are of the latter variety. Liddell has been retired for eighteen months while Griffin is a rudderless ship at the moment. He needs a real win, not one overshadowed by Ortiz’s retirement, and even though they fought to a pair of Split Decisions the first time around it’s not like either fight was particularly memorable/exciting.

The reality is Ortiz is hoping for either because he sees them as beatable and wants to retire on a high note. It’s all about him, not the fans. Griffin’s head isn’t in the game right now plus “The People’s Champ” has outpointed him before. Ortiz also went thirty minutes with him between both bouts and was never finished, a factor no doubt intiguing the future Hall of Famer to a degree as well. Meanwhile, Liddell has been sitting on the sidelines with a glass jaw, his ring rust and health providing a chance for Ortiz to possibly one-up his old nemesis and then call it quits with a “nanny nanny boo boo” of sorts.

Ortiz needs a fresh opponent for his final fight in the Octagon, not a lackluster re-hashing of some years-old feud. My vote would be on Rich Franklin who is in a similar position as the former champion. Neither stands to lose or gain much yet it’s a fan-friendly match-up that might sell some tickets based on their past accomplishments in the Octagon. Their pairing could even headline a FX card or co-headline a FOX show, thus letting Ortiz live up to his claim of people there for the fans by giving away his last hurrah on free television.

Then again, based on the aforementioned suggestions from Ortiz, even if he were to avoid a bout with a “III” at the end of it he’d probably just ask for one with a “IV” instead. And trust me, Ken Shamrock is down.

What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!

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