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My eyes almost teared up watching a once great fighters second wind come to a halt. Tito really gave it a valiant go. After stopping a young titan in Ryan Bader, Tito announced he was going to fight a former rival and title contender, Rashad Evans.
The first aspect that was glaringly obvious was that the former king of Gnp, Tito Ortiz, has failed to evolve so that his transitions between Striking, Clinch and the Ground were quite raw still. He struck effectively with his Muay Thai, then paused and shot a double leg which was easily stuff. Within a minute Rashad demonstrated some beautiful transitions of his own, what we call #2 Right in our C.O.R.E MMA System at VT1 GYM, smoothly taking Tito down and securing the first round with some very effective ground and pound.
Secondly, his strategy off of his back has also failed to evolve and this is ultimately what lead to his demise. If you watch Rashad’s response to Tito’s takedown attempt it is vastly different to Tito’s. Ortiz made no attempt to utilize his environment to regain his footing and Rashad slowly chipped away at until his spirit broke. This was also demonstrated in the Brian Ebersole Vs Dennis Hallman match. Hallman, a more experienced and devastating submission grappler, was ground and pounded to a stoppage when he remained on his back using ineffective submissions. The art and strategy of utilizing the cage defensively or “wall walking” is vital to modern MMA and can be the path to victory or the slippery slope to defeat in a lot of fights.
Lastly, fighters and coaches need to learn to pick their fights better! Tito fought under 1 month ago. Not only does this not provide enough time for a fighters body to recover but it also does not provide enough time for his mind. Tito is a fighter that is known to burn out, particularly towards the end of his career. Lastly Rashad is a top contender that is constantly evolving, Tito needs a comprehensive strategy to beat him. With one weeks rest after Bader and then straight into training it would be almost impossible to be strategically effective. In all fairness Tito did have shades of greatness, his kicks and knees looked effective, his guillotine as well.
The quote by Vince Lombardi: ‘fatigue makes a coward of us all’ in the end applies to Tito’s downfall combined with his inability to evolve.
– Liam Resnekov
VT1 GYM MMA Head Coach, North Shore, Sydney
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