Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC 132 Preview: Ryan Bader vs. Tito Ortiz

Tito Ortiz has claimed that the UFC wanted him to retire after losing to Matt Hamill at UFC 121. After all, he hasn’t won a fight since 2006, and even that was against the horribly faded Ken Shamrock. Ortiz argues that he’s not losing badly: he lost in competitive fashion against Forrest Griffin and fought elite light-heavyweight Rashad Evans to a draw. If Ortiz is fighting closely against opponents who were once champions, then surely he can still compete, right?

If the UFC wants to give Ortiz another chance to win, they have a funny way of showing it by matching him up against Ryan Bader. Bader is one of the UFC’s top light-heavyweights right now, a fighter whose only career loss is to champion Jon Jones and who has a win against the very skilled Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. In addition, Bader is a relatively young fighter who should be early on in the prime of his career. There aren’t too many light-heavyweight fighters who would be a more difficult opponent for Ortiz.

On paper, Bader has the advantage everywhere. Ortiz’s striking has never been anything special; Bader should have a distinct advantage there, especially with Bader’s KO power. Ortiz has traditionally had very good wrestling, but he was taken down multiple times by Matt Hamill, and Bader’s wrestling ability should be comparable to Hamill’s. Even the size/strength advantage could arguably go to Bader: Ortiz is a huge light-heavyweight, but so is Bader, and Bader is much closer to his athletic prime.

So how exactly would Ortiz beat Bader? Um… I’m stumped. Honestly, Ortiz is just trumped everywhere here. The last time Ortiz beat a UFC-quality opponent was in April 2006, where he beat Forrest Griffin in a controversial split decision. The last time Ortiz beat a UFC-quality opponent by something other than split decision was against Patrick Cote in October 2004. These are dire facts that just serve to illustrate how aged Ortiz is as a fighter. The UFC probably should’ve made Ortiz retire (or at least cut him from the promotion) after his loss to Hamill.


It’s a short preview, but there’s just not much more to say. I would go so far as to argue that Tito Ortiz has never beaten a fighter as good as Ryan Bader, and that he’s way out of his league against a fighter like Bader at this point in his career. There’s a reason Bader is a 6:1 favorite in this one. I expect Ryan Bader to win this fight, I expect him to do it by TKO, and I expect him to do it fast enough that those watching the pay-per-view are assured of watching a preliminary fight during the broadcast.


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