Back on May 23, 2008, when Tito Ortiz was parading across a Las Vegas stage with a pitch-black t-shirt and "DANA IS MY B****" sprawled on his chest, I don't think any of us could have ever predicted this next sentence would be written.
"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" is about to be a UFC Hall of Famer.
It's an honor completely deserved, if only for the first-half of his career where he streamrolled to a 14-4 record, defended his UFC light heavyweight title a then-record five consecutive times, headlined the two highest selling pay-per-views of the pre-2008 era, and at times appeared to be one of the most unstoppable fighters on the planet.
Never mind the part that came after when he plummeted on a 1-6-1 run, and somehow went winless from late-2006 until an absolutely stunning upset over Ryan Bader in 2011. Regardless of how polarizing he was to fight fans, that's just what happens when age starts creeping, and a sport in it's infancy catches up. It eventually leaves you in the dust. It happened to all the old guard, it just happened to Tito over a more prolonged stretch.
But again, none of that matters now. His place in UFC lore is sound. So congratulations to Tito Ortiz, "The People's Champion." Going out on a win would be a memorable capper for such an integral member of MMA history, but unfortunately Forrest doesn't seem like he wants to retire from life.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Tito Ortiz to join Hall of Fame. Former UFC luminary Tito Ortiz will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame prior to his retirement bout against Forrest Griffin at UFC 148, according to a report by MMA Weekly.
Fight of the half-year. UFC on FUEL 3's featherweight brawl, Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier, headlined the annual half-year awards, taking home honors for 'Fight of the Half-Year.'
Bibiano Fernandes not in UFC? A surprising revelation came courtesy of former DREAM champ Bibiano Fernandes, who revealed he was not actually in the UFC and never signed a contract to fight Roland Delorme at UFC 149.
UFC heading to South Africa. UFC President Dana White announced plans for an upcoming deal that would bring UFC television programming to South Africa, and possibly a future event.
Floyd Mayweather motioning to get out of jail. Less than two weeks into Floyd Mayweather's 87-day jail sentence for misdemeanor domestic battery and harassment, the fighter's team is motioning for a removal from the Clark County Detention Center into house arrest due to "inhumane treatment" which could potentially end his boxing career.
Now, I've never been to Japan, but it really doesn't seem too far-fetched to see Yoshihiro Akiyama walking around in a suit of armor hurling dodgeballs at what are (presumably) Japanese celebrities. (HT: MiddleEasy)
If you at all carry an unreasonable fear towards Russians, we suggest you don't watch what may be the single most spectacular national highlight we've ever seen. (HT: Reddit)
Just for fun, take a look at the new Bellator video game and give us your honest impressions. (HT: MiddleEasy)
MIRACLES REALLY DO HAPPEN
Tom Lawlor (@FilthyTomLawlor) June 12, 2012
Breaking: "Right Said Fred" no longer "too sexy for his shirt".— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) June 12, 2012
JOSH BARNETT IS ON FIRE
And Christ said unto Ezekial "Kick him in the balls dude, that always works." And it was so.RT @mike_7544 what is ur fav bible proverb?— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) June 12, 2012
Announced yesterday (Tuesday, June 12, 2012):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day features Knucklebuck donning his 25th-anniversary Top Gun shades for: Top 15 Active American UFC Fighters
15. Johny Hendricks 13-1
2x NCAA Div1 Champion 2005&2006, 4x All American, 3x Big12 Champion, 2005, 2006, 2007, 3x High School State Champion
Johnny made the list due to his wrestling pedigree and the tear he is currently on in the UFC's welterweight division. As a title contender with lead hands, this guy has what it takes to make it to UFC gold provided he can get past Martin Kampmann later this year.
14. Nate Diaz 17-6
TUF Season 5 Winner
Nate Diaz made the list at no. 14 because of his fearlessness and ability to fight in two weight classes. He consistently has fight of the night performances, and his BJJ and boxing pedigree are second to none. He has what it takes to make it to the top and regardless if he fights Benson Henderson or Frankie Edgar next, it should be an extremely entertaining bout.
13. Chael Sonnen 27-11
NCAA Div1 All American, Silver Medalist Greco Roman World University Championships, 2x Dave Schultz Memorial International Greco Roman Winner, Gladiator Challenge LHW Champion, Hitman LHW Championship, Danger Zone LHW Campion and Tourney Winner, Rumble at the River Tourney Winner.
Ok, so I have never heard of some of these second tier organizations, but the fact remains that Chael has the wrestling pedigree and the toughness to bring the UFC gold back to the U.S. if he can repeat and complete his impressive performance against Anderson Silva next month.
Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.