Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Can Tito Ortiz Save The UFC?

Tito Ortiz made his triumphant return to the octagon with an impressive victory over Ryan Bader at UFC 132. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy proved his critics wrong and defied the odds by re-establishing his relevance in the UFC. Was this an apparition or can we expect to see more great performances from Tito?

By all accounts Tito Ortiz is past his prime and may not be able to handle the top contenders in the sport, but that doesn't mean he's not important. Tito was the face of the UFC for many years and is still a fan favorite. MMA still struggles to achieve mainstream success and without big names for the public to follow the challenges will continue. Tito Ortiz provides that big name.

In addition, Tito has the kind of personality the sport needs. Whether you love him or hate him you have to admit Ortiz brings a level of interest few other fighter possess. Certainly there are other fighters with a large fan base and following, but that doesn't necessarily make them marketable. There are really only a handful of fighters (Anderson Silva, George St. Pierre, Rampage Jackson) that have crossover appeal.

Tito Ortiz may not win another UFC belt, but he will make his presence felt. Tito is an irritant that has a way of getting under people's skin and on their nerves. By the time the fight starts there will be bad blood and harsh words exchanged on both sides.

As the sport continues to evolve and eat away at boxing's market share Tito Ortiz give the UFC both credibility and excitement. At his age however let's hope Tito maintains his health and gets out before he embarrasses himself. Stay tuned.

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