Forrest Griffin defeated Tito Ortiz for a second time tonight at UFC 148 to emerge as the overall winner in their trilogy of fights by 2-1.
Griffin started off the first round using a lot of lateral movement and throwing a few head kicks which were blocked, while Ortiz was able to land with a punch to the face.
Then Ortiz attempted the first takedown of the fight and was successful, planting Griffin down close to the fence. Ortiz started to move towards a better position to land some of his patented ground and pound, but Griffin managed to scramble out and back to his feet.
Back on his feet Griffin started to work at a higher tempo with his strikes, peppering Ortiz’s face with strikes. Ortiz attempted to swoop for a low takedown, but Griffin scrambled free.
Ortiz was perhaps starting to show the first slight signs of tiredness, while Griffin still seemed light on his feet and was getting the better of the striking.
With just a few seconds left Ortiz dropped down for another takedown and Griffin stumbled, but didn’t go down fully and was just getting back to his feet as the bell sounded.
Onto the second and Griffin again looked to establish himself as the better striker, but he got caught by a big right hand and it sent him stumbling back onto the mat.
Griffin got straight back up and the two men started trading winging punches in the pocket. The crowd began chanting Ortiz name, but as they continued to throwdown it was Griffin who began to get the better of it again and soon they were changing Forrest’s name instead.
Ortiz was again showing real signs of tiredness as the second ound drew closer to a conclusion and the higher volume of punches was clearly coming from Griffin.
In a late attempt to redress the balance Ortiz looked to clock in another takedown, but this time Griffin stuffed it and was able to drop down some hammerfist strikes to his head before the bell sounded.
Forrest set the pace again early in the final round, throwing a significant volume of strikes, while Ortiz wasn’t offering too much in return.
Then the momentum swung once again as Ortiz landed a left hook that sent Griffin tumbling to the mat in a repeat of the previous round.
He got back up with Ortiz hot on his heels and he bullrushes him to secure a takedown. Griffin tried hard to get up, but Ortiz managed to pin him down and he resorts to trying a kimura from his back, but is unsuccessful.
Ortiz wasn’t doing too much with the position though and eventually Griffin was able to shift his way back towards the cage and then worked his way to his feet from there.
Both men looked tired now, but Ortiz didn’t seem to have much left in the tank at all whereas Griffin was able to keep throwing punches despite the fact there wasn’t much on them.
In the last 10 seconds they both start swinging for the fences, but neither can land a finishing blow and so it’s down to the judges once again to decide between them.
Griffin may think he’s lost though as he walks straight out of the Octagon and heads for the dressing rooms before the decision is read out. Dana White runs after him though and convinces him to get back, and it’s just as well he did as it’s Griffin who is awarded a unanimous decision victory (29-28 x3).
Afterwards Griffin said that perhaps all three of his fights with Ortiz should have been declared a draw, and that’s not such an outlandish claim.
As for Ortiz, he confirmed in the Octagon that this would be his final fight, and though he didn’t go out with a win he still fought hard and his past achievements will ensure he always has a place in the history of the sport.