Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
LAS VEGAS -- All Tito Ortiz wanted was to go out with his head held high, to give his all for 15 final minutes in his illustrious, UFC Hall of Fame career.
He didn't get his hand raised in the end Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, but it was still mission accomplished. The veteran Ortiz gave everything he had left in his gas tank, but it wasn't quite enough at UFC 148 as Forrest Griffin scored a unanimous decision in their trilogy fight, winning by scores of 29-28 on all cards.
The postfight featured a bizarre scene as Griffin left the cage before the decision, apparently thinking he lost. After being forced to return to the Octagon, Griffin was announced as the winner to thunderous boos from the crowd. Then Griffin interviewed Ortiz in the cage.
"I gave it my all," Ortiz told Griffin. "I gave it my all. This is my last fight tonight. I've been doing this for 15 years, man."
Ortiz had his moments in the first round, scoring a takedown and dishing out some classic ground-and-pound. But Griffin peppered him with body kicks. Griffin controlled the second round. In the third, Ortiz dropped Griffin with a huge punch, but didn't have the energy to immediately follow up. Still, he managed to take Griffin down and control him for much of the third round.
it was quite enough to get the decision, though. Griffin takes the series, 2-1, with Ortiz winning at UFC 59 and Griffin at UFC 106.
"I felt like we had three draws, to be honest," said Griffin. "I wish we could go a fourth round tonight."
Ortiz, the UFC light heavyweight champion from 2000-03, finished with a career record or 16-11-1, 1-7-1 in his last eight fights.
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