Tito Ortiz hinted at coming out of retirement yet again after his most recent neck surgery.
Fighters having trouble staying retired is the norm in MMA. Whether it’s the money, the glory, or just the need to engage in athletic competition once more, a lot of mixed martial artists just can’t stay away. Even when it seems pretty obvious that they should.
Enter Tito Ortiz.
The 42-year-old former UFC champion and Hall of Famer has retired multiple times, just to come back to take another fight. He has also accumulated a laundry list of injuries along the way, many of them requiring surgery. His latest surgery was on his neck, and he took to social media afterward to thank fans and well-wishers for their support along the journey. But he ended the statement with an obvious challenge to the man he beat in his last fight, Chael Sonnen:
Good to go!!! Surgery went great. Walk out of the hospital on my own! Thank you Dr Willam Smith to the best Nero-surgeon in the world. I am now pain free. #unbreakable #milliondollarman
He ends the statement with “I’m alive. I’m fixed. Now it’s time to get ready, because Chael, I’m kicking your ass.”
He then followed that up with a post a day later showing the scar from his surgery:
I feel great one day after three level disk replacement. Nurse came to see me and said it looked great. I heal like wolverine. Nice to have 0 pain. #unbreakable #allscarshaveastory
Ortiz (19-12-1, 3-1 Bellator) defeated Sonnen by submission in the first round of their fight at Bellator 170 in January. Since then Sonnen has continued to insult Ortiz, clearly trying to goad him into a rematch. Ortiz was on hand at Chael’s last fight against Wanderlei Silva and berated him from the crowd, which Chael obviously responded to later.
Sonnen has since been angling for a fight with another retired UFC Hall of Famer, Chuck Liddell, but that seems unlikely. It’s unclear how long Ortiz’s recovery will take, but don’t be surprised to see Ortiz-Sonnen 2 down the road in a Bellator cage.