Sports

Ortiz-Griffin II Ends In Another Split Decision

Forrest GriffinOnce again, former UFC light heavyweight champions Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz have gone to a split decision. After six-rounds and two fights, no fighter has yet to decisively finish the other. The UFC 106 main-event lived up to its hype and then some. This time it was Forrest Griffin that won a tight, yet controversial split decision in their rematch.

The fight lived up to all of my expectations coming out of the first match. It was almost as if Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz remained in the ring and the bell rang for Round 4 when it started. Ortiz entered the fight with a black eye from training, while Griffin looked to be fully recovered from the Anderson Silva loss. I would have no problem whatsoever with seeing Griffin-Ortiz III after seeing this fight.

The first round played out a lot like their first match in Anaheim. Forrest seemed to be hitting early on with some beautiful leg kicks. At the same time, you just had a feeling that Ortiz would time them and shoot the takedown. Like clockwork, Ortiz timed his takedown perfectly and resumed where things left off in Anaheim. Ortiz controlled Griffin on the ground and laid in the ground and pound on Forrest. Like their first right, Griffin survived the ground attack of Ortiz. Griffin peppered Ortiz a bit with leg kicks and jabs, but in my opinion Tito dominated most of the round.

Round 2 started off a little bit of the same. Unlike Round 1 and their previous fight, Forrest had much better defense against the takedowns and on the ground. Forrest used a butterfly guard to prevent Ortiz from fully mounting him and unleashing more ground and pound. Griffin seemed to grow more confident and started to dominate the striking game between the two fighters. The high drama came when Ortiz opened up Griffin badly with an elbow on the ground. Griffin remained composed and wound up sweeping Ortiz and reversing positions on the ground. The round ended with a bloody Griffin on top of Tito and some pushing and shoving.

The final round was a little bizarre to me. Ortiz came out fired up to start the round but was completely exhausted. Ortiz wound up becoming a punching bag for five minutes. Ortiz barely moved and had no reflexes to counter Griffin’s jabs and kicks. Griffin nailed a high kick at one point that rocked Ortiz. Ortiz seemed to be saving his energy for a takedown. He tried two towards the end of the round and Griffin blocked them both. It was very odd to see Ortiz go from dominating the first round, pounding Griffin in the second round, to doing absolutely nothing in the third round. The entire round saw Griffin just constantly strike at an immobile Tito Ortiz.

Both fighters acknowledged injuries following the fight. Forrest claimed to have a broken foot, while Ortiz claimed to have a neck injury which prevented him from sparring. I hate excuses but I tend to believe Ortiz. It was obvious he was gassed in Round 3. Say what you will about Tito, but his cardio conditioning is legendary. I had a feeling well before he said it that there was something physically wrong with him because I have never seen Tito that tired in a fight. Although, how did he get a black eye in training if he couldn’t spar for two weeks? The crowd did boo because quite honestly, it seems that Tito has an injury excuse every time he loses a fight.

The match once again came down to a split decision. Forrest Griffin got the win and already asked for a third match with Tito Ortiz on the post-match interview. I don’t think anyone was robbed here, but I can’t comprehend Forrest winning Round 2. Ortiz opened up a huge cut with elbows, took him down, grounded and pounded him, and yet somehow Griffin got the round. Once again a UFC main-event ends in controversy and a questionable judgment. To be fair, I don’t think it was impossible to fathom Griffin winning the round. However, all I saw was Forrest dominate one round of a three-round fight.

Tito Ortiz tied Chuck Liddell with a record 21 appearances in a UFC octagon. Physically, Ortiz looked great other than the black eye. I was also impressed with his efforts considering his age, his long layoff, and recovering from back surgery. Tito lost, but he definitely kept himself relevant on the top of the UFC cards. I think the UFC stumbled onto a gem here with a third Ortiz-Griffin match. I honestly can’t see how and why you would avoid it. Forrest Griffin won the fight at UFC 106, but I think everyone will win in the end with Ortiz-Griffin III.

Full UFC 106 results:
Forrest Griffin defeated Tito Ortiz via split decision
Josh Koscheck defeated Anthony Johnson via submissiono
Paulo Thiago defeated Jacob Volkmann via unanimous decision
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira defeated Luiz Cane via TKO
Amir Sadollah defeated Phil Baroni via unanimous decision
Ben Saunders defeated Marcus Davis via KO
Kendall Grove defeated Jake Rosholt via submission
Brian Foster defeated Brock Larson via TKO
Caol Uno fights Fabricio Camoes to a majority draw
George Sotiropoulos defeated Jason Dent via submission

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Order Forrest Griffin’s book Got Fight?: The 50 Zen Principles of Hand-to-Face Combat by clicking here.

Tito Ortiz’s autobiography This Is Gonna Hurt: The Life of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion by clicking here.

Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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