Tito Ortiz will wrap up his near 20-year career at Bellator 170.
After teasing his retirement with a tweet in December, the former UFC light heavyweight champion confirmed during a Tuesday conference call that his upcoming bout with Chael Sonnen will be his final fight.
"This retirement is due," said Ortiz. "20 years of competition - I think I'd still be fighting if it wasn't for the surgery. My biggest enemy has been my surgeries. I've had an ACL replacement in my left knee, an ACL replacement in my right knee, 50 percent of my meniscus taken out of my right knee, (surgery on my back and neck), C5, C4, disc replacement, C4-C3 fused, reattached retina in my left eye ... Probably about 26, 27 concussions, and thousands of stitches. I've been through the grinder."
Ortiz added that his prosperity outside of the cage is also playing a part in his decision to hang up the gloves, crediting his children and current girlfriend as catalysts for his decision.
At 41 years old, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" remains one of the most well-known names in the sport due to his enormous success as a UFC champion. From 2000-2002, he won the promotion's light heavyweight belt and defended it five times against the likes of Ken Shamrock, Vladimir Matyushenko, and Evan Tanner. He is best remembered for his blockbuster rivalries with fellow UFC Hall of Fame members Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture.
Beyond his in-cage accomplishments, Ortiz hopes that he is recognized for the contributions that he made to MMA as a whole.
"I want to be remembered as a fighter with integrity," said Ortiz. "A fighter who did it his way. Who has respect because he wanted to push the envelope for the fighters. A fighter who came out dressing nice and talking the talk and walking the walk. Integrity is a huge word for me that I've kept through my career and I've never stepped on anybody to get ahead."
Ortiz makes his final walk to the cage in the main event of Bellator 170 on Jan. 21 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.