Ortiz came out gunning, but Antonio Rogerio Nogueira rocked him early with punches and drove home two punishing knees to the gut, the second of which dropped Ortiz to the mat. He quickly followed the former UFC light heavyweight champion down, pouring on the punishment, hammering Ortiz’s ribs, until the finish.
Despite taking such a drubbing, Ortiz isn’t ready to walk away.
“I take my hat off to him. That body shot hurt me. My game plan was to get on top and do a ground-and-pound. I gave it my all,” said Ortiz after the fight. “Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I’m going to take some time off and enjoy the holidays with my family.”
Ortiz began this journey just shy of 15 years ago – on May 30, 1997 – and he wants to finish out the final fight on his current UFC contract.
“I have one more fight in my contract. I’m going to give the fans one more fight that is my best.”
UFC president Dana White wasn’t quite so quick to endorse Ortiz’s plea to finish out his contract… but he also didn’t immediately shoot it down either.
“I gotta talk to Tito. We’ll see,” said White at the UFC 140 post-fight press conference. “I’m always looking out for guys’ health. It’s not like Tito got vicously knocked out tonight; he got punished to the ribs. We’ll see.”
So, for now at lest, the final chapter of Tito Ortiz’s Octagon autobiography remains a work in progress.