Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Tito Ortiz Says He Will Fight in 2021

Tito Oritz
Tito Ortiz Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is not done fighting just yet.

On Friday, the now-former Mayor Pro Tem of Huntington Beach, California announced that he would return to the cage later this year. While no date or promotion was provided, Ortiz assured fight fans that he would be in the cage in 2021 — and asked them just who he should fight.

Ortiz (21-12-1) last competed against pro wrestler and mixed martial artist Dos Caras Jr., better known to the general public as WWE star Alberto Del Rio. The bout came under the Combate Americas banner in 2019, with Ortiz winning via submission care of a rear-naked choke in the opening round.

Prior to that, Ortiz had picked up victories over fellow aging stars Chuck Liddell and Chael Sonnen. The Sonnen win came under the Bellator banner, and marked the end of Ortiz’s run in that promotion — a run that saw “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” go 3-1, with the lone loss coming against Liam McGeary in a light heavyweight title fight.

Of course, Ortiz is best known for his UFC tenure, which saw him capture the 205lb title in 2000. After defending the belt five times, a record that stood until the era of Jon Jones, Ortiz lost the title in 2003, to Randy Couture.

Ortiz would challenge for light heavyweight gold once more in the UFC, losing at UFC 66 to Chuck Liddell. After going 1-7-1 in nine fights starting with that loss, Ortiz briefly retired in 2012. He returned, joining Bellator in 2014, then retired again following that stint, before coming back for the third Liddell fight, under the ill-fated Golden Boy MMA banner.

Since then, Tito Ortiz has remained mum about retirement, seemingly taking fights one at a time.