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Tito Ortiz Takes Out Bellator Champion, Wins For First Time In Bellator

Tito Ortiz

“Guess who’s back,” shouted Tito Ortiz, after securing a submission victory over Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 120 Saturday night.

With a decisive weight advantage, Ortiz scored a quick takedown, moved to a strong position and choked out Shlemenko, the reigning middleweight champion in the first round.

“I worked hard as hell for this,” Ortiz said. “I want to show all of you and my boys what hard work and dedication can do.”

Ortiz (17-11-1), who turned 39 years old this year, earned his first victory since a 2011 submission over Ryan Bader in the UFC. He was just 1-7-1 in his last nine fights overall, dating back to a 2006 loss to Chuck Liddell for the light heavyweight title.

After retiring from MMA following a loss to Forrest Griffin in 2012, Ortiz decided to return for Bellator. However, a neck injury last year cast a shadow over any chance of him competing again. Ortiz admitted he knew it might be over until a doctor found a new procedure to help speed up his recovery.

Shlemenko issued a challenge to Ortiz and “The People’s Champion” gladly accepted. He once sponsored Shlemenko, but this was all business for him on Saturday.

“He is a great champion at 185 pounds, but calling me out, I had to do what I do best, which is punish people,” Ortiz said. “I’m here for a long time.”

Ortiz also called out his former employers, who he believes are trying to blacklist him from their history books.

“The UFC tried to take me off their lists, their Hall of Fame,” Ortiz said. “Each one of these fans will remember me for the rest of MMA’s lifetime.”

6 COMMENTS
  • AlphaOmega says:

    Now lets see what he does against a LHW, he wants to fight for the belt, so give him Rampage next. Also doesn’t this kinda tarnish their MW champ and his whole undefeated in 13 fights thing?

  • hindsightufuk says:

    yeah the whole thing kinda back fired a bit didnt it. personally thought Shamhalaev should have rematched Richman, and let the two BJJ grapplers get at each other, both coulda been awesome fights. instead Shamhalaev is probably out for the rest of the year with a broken arm. at least Yamauchi got back on track.
    the MW champ is now tarnished, no longer unbeaten for a long stretch, beaten quickly by a guy who hasnt fought in 2 years. Alvarez vs Chandler 3 may never happen now that Will Brooks beat Michael. big money fight gone astray there. and Rampage just looked old in there against a sloppy Mo

    enjoyed the fights, but i don’t think it benefited Bellator a huge amount

  • AlphaOmega says:

    How does the Alvarez/Chandler thing even work now? It was in Alvarez’ contract that he HAD to fight Chandler for the third time if he won the title, yet now Brooks is the interim titleholder which means they have to fight to solidify it. Yet Alvarez’ contract only has one fight on it and it is the mandatory Chandler fight, does this put him in a situation to have power over Bellator?

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Reading what Bjorn said about Alverez, it looks like it is up to Eddie, he can choose to fight Brooks or he can say no and stick to the exact wording and have a third fight with Chandler. Seems to me like Chandler now has to go through the tournament again to get another shot but if that happens I am sure it will end up being a 4 man tourney.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Ya I saw that, it still doesn’t make sense though. That’ll mean they will have 2 champions then

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Yes they will but that was something they knew could happen going into this match up. They should just do the first triple threat mma match, i bet the ratings are through the roof.

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