Bjorn Rebney: Tito Ortiz's future still uncertain

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It's been more than a decade since his long UFC light heavyweight tile reign ended and his lower back and neck started turning on him. But Tito Ortiz, after a retirement and a TMZ-laden hiatus from the sport, is still taking about a comeback at 39 years old.

There was more than a little skepticism when Ortiz (16-11-1, but 1-7-1 over the last six years of his career) said he was coming out of retirement for a Nov. 2 pay-per-view fight with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. And a lot more "I told you sos," when he had to pull out due to a fractured neck, the same type of injury that he's encountered in the past and resulted in neck fusion surgery. But he's been talking again of late about coming back to Bellator, which signed him to a lucrative deal last year.

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney doesn't yet have an answer to the Ortiz questions, the ones like if or when he'll be fighting again. Ortiz last fought on July 7, 2012, a decision loss to Forrest Griffin in what still could end up as the last fight of both men's careers.

"I've been having a good number of conversations with Tito," said Rebney. "The prior neck injury was disturbing, but we've gotten past that. The fracture was really disturbing because of the potential for paralysis under a worse-case scenario. We're doing a pretty exhaustive series of tests to see if he's fine, because we want to be 100 percent sure.

"It's one thing to have a fighter come back from a knee injury or a shoulder injury, but the neck and head, I'd rather err on the side of being overly cautious than rush and something happens. We need to be really careful."

Ortiz was brought in specifically to be a big-name opponent for Jackson. Since the injury canceled the match, Jackson has said on a number of occaions that he's no longer interested in that fight.

More from MMA Fighting

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker