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Even After Expensive Wreck, Tito Ortiz Never Considered Pulling Out of UFC 133

Though the news must have given UFC president Dana White quite a scare, Tito Ortiz said he wasn't at all injured in the recent car accident that left his Rolls Royce Phantom with some front end damage, and pulling out of his bout with Rashad Evans at UFC 133 afterward was never a thought.

"No, not even a doubt," Ortiz said on Thursday's media call. "You've got to understand, I did the Long Beach Grand Prix and I crashed four times. I was hitting walls. ...On my honeymoon in my first marriage I got hit by a bus doing 30, and I fought and defended my world title against Yuki Kondo literally four months later. Stuff like that doesn't hurt me. I think what hurts is just the repetition of training."

Photos of the damage to his extremely expensive car quickly made the rounds on the internet, but Ortiz said he suffered "zero" physical effects from the wreck.

"I rear-ended somebody," he explained. "It was a mistake on my part. I probably shouldn't have been paying attention to what I was paying attention to, and I looked up and -- bam -- I hit someone. And it was an expensive car. It was my bad. I was really, really bummed about it, but at the same time it can be paid for."

Ortiz said his greatest concern after the low-speed accident was his son, who was in the car with him, but said he also suffered no injuries other than getting "the wind knocked out of him."

News of Ortiz's safety must have been a relief for UFC officials after all the trouble they went to just to scrape up a short-notice opponent for Evans after Phil Davis was forced out of the main event bout with an injury. Ortiz initially declined the offer to fight, he said, because he simply felt he had too much going on and not enough time to deal with it all.

"After I beat Bader I was on top of the world and I wanted to indulge in the glory," he said. "I took a week off. I came home, was relaxing, watching TV. Dana [White] gave me a call and I was with my family. I miss my family and I haven't been around that much just because of training. You put in six-hour days, six days a week, you're putting in hard work. When he first asked me I was like, no, I've got to take care of some stuff at home. I've got businesses with Punishment Nutrition, with my clothing company, my gym -- there's so much other business stuff where I've been planting the seeds and watering them so I can watch it grow, and I had to take care of that stuff."

But after talking with White, Ortiz said, the idea started to take root in his mind, and suddenly it didn't seem so bad after all.

"The fighter in me kind of doubted it, was like, maybe you should fight. You're in great shape. I never got touched. Sparring's been great, my wrestling's been really good. I'm strong. I have no injuries. My back and my neck have been awesome. It took me a minute to think about it. Of course I sat and I talked to [girlfriend] Jenna [Jameson]. I talked to my training partners, I talked to my coach, and we kind of just sat down and said, let's do this. Here's an opportunity that we're never going to have again."

Now Ortiz has gone from being one loss away from unemployment to being firmly in the good graces of the UFC. All it took was a willingness to say yes, and a physical resilience to car wrecks -- even the very, very expensive kind.

As Ortiz put it, "Thank God for insurance."

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