Pros Pick: Ortiz vs. Griffin 2

Pros Pick

By Mike Sloan Nov 20, 2009
For a fight that was not supposed to rest atop the marquee, the rematch between former light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin at UFC 106 this Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas has drawn plenty of attention.

Ortiz, who has not posted a win inside the Octagon in more than three years, took a controversial split decision from Griffin at UFC 59 in April 2006. The defeat was Griffin’s first inside the UFC but did little to slow the momentum he had built on Season 1 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Now, they meet again. recently gathered predictions from a number of professional fighters and trainers to gauge how they think the UFC 106 centerpiece will play out.

Charlie Brenneman: Forrest will take this one. Ortiz will look to impose his will through takedowns and ground-and-pound, but ring rust and fatigue will be factors. Forrest may be down on the scorecards late in the fight, but I’m calling a third-round TKO for Griffin. He’s hungrier than ever and will do nearly anything to erase the bad taste left from the Anderson Silva destruction.

Dewey Cooper: I like both guys in this matchup. My heart goes out to Forrest because of what he went through in the Anderson Silva fight. I just don’t know if he has totally healed up psychologically from that fight. The first fight was very close between the two of them. I felt Forrest had pulled it out slightly. This time around, I feel it will be the same type of fight. Tito is a vet, so cage rust should not be a factor. If anything, the break from fighting should benefit him. I see a close fight -- either a draw, or Tito will get the nod. Whether it’s deserved or not will be the question.

Mike Ciesnolevicz: I was out at the first fight live, and I felt Forrest got robbed and should have won the decision. However, after I re-watched the fight at home, I realized Tito did enough to pull out the win and the decision by the judges was correct. This time around, it will be a more interesting fight. Forrest is way more seasoned and has been fighting top-level competition, but I did see him get TKO’d by [Keith] Jardine, Rashad [Evans] and Anderson Silva. Tito is coming back from surgery, and I think almost two years out of the competitive game could be a big factor. But I think Tito is gonna use his wrestling and control and take Forrest to the mat to score points and big elbows. I don’t think Tito will out-jiu-jitsu Forrest on the mat, but I do think he will beat him up with ground-and-pound and probably win by TKO in the second round, or, if it goes all three rounds, I see a unanimous decision.

Kit Cope: “Durability” is synonymous with “short career.” In case you haven’t noticed, the lights turn off a bit easier every time for Forrest. I’m not saying he’s done. He’s still a banger, which is exciting to watch, but Tito has a new fire under his ass, and though he may not knock Forrest out, that’s still gotta be something in Griffin’s head that may make him apprehensive. Tito wins this one by controlling Forrest and beating him to the punch or shot or position.

Patrick Cote: I’ll go with Ortiz. He needs a big fight, and I don’t know if Forrest will be able to bounce back from his last beating.

Scott Bieri: Layoffs, honeymoons, twin babies, surgeries and previous losses are a few things to consider in this fight. All due respect to a pioneer -- and a catalyst to the popularity of MMA -- but a year and a half layoff to an already under-evolved fighter is the biggest issue going in. It seems Tito would love to be bullying past-prime fighters into retirement [but] Forrest Griffin is not that guy. This is an excellent platform for Forrest to regain his confidence. Griffin [will be] in the driver’s seat on the way to a unanimous decision win.

Ray Elbe: Forrest Griffin. No way he misses that super-sized dome piece.

Stephane Vigneault: I see Tito coming back stronger from his layoff. Forrest is in a bad moment of his career, I think. I see Tito winning a unanimous ground-and-pound decision.

Shamar Bailey: Given Forrest’s improvements as a fighter, his growth in confidence and Tito’s layoff since their first meeting, I don’t see Forrest losing this one unless Tito can take Forrest down and inflict damage for extended lengths of time. I’m picking Forrest by decision.

Gabe Ruediger: Tito is coming off of a serious injury and over a year layoff. That’s a long time to be away from the sport. Forrest may be coming off a loss, but he seems like the type that would use that as motivation. Tito will do what he always does -- strike a little bit and try for a takedown. Game planning for Tito is not rocket science, and Forrest should come in with the right strategy. I’m going with Forrest by decision.

Brad Pickett: I think this has the potential to be a great fight and think that the fans will be the winners.

Eddy Millis: Interesting fight, Tito and Griffin. So my prediction is going to be based on what I hope the outcome will be. I think if Tito comes in the way I believe he will, then he pummels Griffin by round two.

James Zikic: Tito will win on points.
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