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When Tito Ortiz walked into the Octagon in 1997, he did so with game-changing skills and the hubris to match. It was not long before he emerged as one of the sport’s first true superstars.
Ortiz laid claim to the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title in his seventh professional bout, lorded over the division for more than three years and ignited some of MMA’s most memorable rivalries. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” fought exclusively for the company from 1999 until 2012, at which point he was inducted into the pioneer wing of the UFC Hall of Fame. Ortiz has since continued his exploits inside Bellator MMA, Golden Boy Promotions and Combate Americas, all while enjoying an unlikely late-career resurgence. He last competed in December, when he submitted former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Alberto Rodriguez with a rear-naked choke.
With Ortiz’s next move uncertain, here are some of the numbers that have come to define him:
45: Years of age. Ortiz was born on Jan. 23, 1975 in Huntington Beach, California.
8: Takedowns landed against Frank Shamrock in their memorable UFC 22 encounter. It remains a career-high for Ortiz, who lost to Shamrock by fourth-round technical knockout in his first bid to capture the light heavyweight crown.
3: Sub-minute finishes on his resume. Ortiz put away Wes Albritton with punches in 31 seconds on May 30, 1997, kneed Jeremy Screeton into submission in 16 seconds on Dec. 8, 1998 and knocked out Evan Tanner with a slam in 32 seconds on Feb. 23, 2001.
5: Submission victories to his credit. Ortiz’s methods of choice: two rear-naked chokes, one neck crank, one guillotine choke and one arm-triangle choke.
1,260: Days as UFC light heavyweight champion. Ortiz held the title from April 14, 2000 to June 6, 2003 and successfully defended it on five different occasions, defeating Yuki Kondo, Evan Tanner, Elvis Sinosic, Vladimir Matyushenko and Ken Shamrock.
7: Wins over former UFC, Bellator and Pride Fighting Championships titleholders, accounting for one-third of his career total. Ortiz has defeated Tanner, Chuck Liddell, Alexander Shlemenko, Ryan Bader, Forrest Griffin, Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva.
27: Appearances in the UFC, tying him with Frank Mir, Thiago Alves, Joe Lauzon and B.J. Penn for 11th on the organization’s all-time list. Only Donald Cerrone (34), Jim Miller (34), Demian Maia (32), Jeremy Stephens (32), Diego Sanchez (31), Andrei Arlovski (31), Michael Bisping (29), Rafael dos Anjos (29), Gleison Tibau (28) and Clay Guida (28) have more.
1,241: Total strikes landed inside the Octagon—second-most in UFC light heavyweight history. Ortiz trails only Jon Jones (1,835).
52: Rounds completed as a professional mixed martial artist. Ortiz has gone the distance 12 times in 34 career bouts and fought five full rounds on three occasions.
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