Former light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz came into tonight’s fight with Matt Hamill needing a win to rejuvenate his career after a string of poor results and injury problems, but it wasn’t to be.
Ortiz started the round well, throwing a surprising amount of head kicks and even a spinning backfist as he took the fight to Hamill. It seemed that Hamill was not phased by this though and despite offering less offense than his opponent by the end of the round it was Ortiz who had a mouse under his eye and cut on the side of his head.
The second round agains started on the feet with neither man gaining a clear edge. Midway through Hamill produced a takedown however and slowly but surely began to give Ortiz a taste of his own M.O – a ground and pound battering with punches and elbows from the guard and then side control that again left Ortiz face looking battered and bloody by the time the bell sounded.
Despite the fight being fairly close neither man looked in a particular hurry as they got back to trading strikes. Again in the midway point of the round Hamill landed another perfectly timed takedown and from half guard laid down more Tito Ortiz 101, dropping more bombs on his former coach to finish strongly.
The student had clearly defeated the master and Hamill walked away with a unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27).
This was a solid win for Hamill who in truth didn’t look like he was never operating at full capacity in the stand-up portion of the fight, but showed himself to be the superior grappler and a modern equivalent of Ortiz in terms of the beating he laid down on the ground.
While Hamill looked relatively unmarked after the fight Ortiz was a completely different story. He’s now 0-4-1 and the signs are that he’s now a shadow of his former self. To be fair he was coming back from his second major surgery in two years though, so he will now hope that he can stay injury free and get another chance to claw back some pride in the UFC next time out.