Ortiz vs. Griffin 2

The main event of UFC 106 is a light heavyweight contest between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin.

The two fighters met three years ago with Ortiz winning a split decision and this time around, both are in dire need of a win.

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Griffin enters the fight as a slight favorite with a betting line of -145 with Ortiz given a line of+115 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this main event bout, which will take place from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday at 10PM ET on Pay-Per View.
Forrest Griffin (16-6):
Strengths
: Griffin has greatly improved his boxing skills since the first meeting and become a much more well-rounded fighter. His initial fight with Ortiz was the first real test of his MMA career and that fight also did a great deal for his confidence, which helped him become a light heavyweight champion. Griffin has also improved his ground game, as he has been able to do a better job of defending takedowns and even working on submission and reversals. Perhaps Griffin’s greatest strength is his leg kicks, which were a big part in his win over Quinton Jackson at UFC 86 to win the title. Griffin has been able to break opponents legs with the force of his kicks.
Weaknesses: Griffin is one of those fighters that is not great at any one area, but good in every area. He can out-strike grapplers and out-grapple strikers, but not overwhelm either one. Griffin has been knocked out in his last two fights and has taken a big fall in the light heavyweight rankings, but a win over Ortiz can certainly help him establish himself again among the top contenders.
Last Five Fights:
First round KO loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 101 on Aug. 8, 2009

Third round TKO loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 92 on Dec. 27, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Quinton Jackson at UFC 86 on July 5, 2008

Third round submission win over Mauricio Rua at UFC 76 on Sept. 22, 2007

Unanimous decision win over Hector Ramirez at UFC 72 on June 16, 2007
 
Tito Ortiz (15-6-1):
Strengths: Ortiz is a true grappler, relying on his wrestling skills to gain an edge in position where he then uses powerful strikes to finish fights. Ortiz has some of the best explosion in his takedowns in MMA and his conditioning is often thought to be among the best in the UFC. Ortiz also has a solid chin, as he has never been knocked unconscious in a fight, despite suffering a few TKO losses.
Weaknesses: Ortiz was a dominant champion in the late 90’s and early 2000’s for the UFC, but like most aging fighters, Ortiz has not evolved with the sport and still tries to win fights like he did when he was champion. Ortiz has not looked good when trying to strike with opponents, and his takedown speed has not been fast enough for him to get younger fighters to the ground. Ortiz has not won a fight since 2006, and has arguably not won over a noteworthy opponent since beating an inexperienced Griffin in 2006. Ortiz hasn’t fought in 18 months after undergoing extensive back surgery, so rust could be an issue in this fight as well.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 84 on May 24, 2008

Draw against Rashad Evans at UFC 73 on July 7, 2007

Third round TKO loss to Chuck Liddell at UFC 66 on Dec. 30, 2006

First round TKO win over Ken Shamrock at UFC The Final Chapter on Oct. 10, 2006

First Round TKO win over Ken Shamrock at UFC 61 on July 8, 2006
 
Who will win: Ortiz has claimed that nagging injuries have been the reason for his three-year drought without a win, but I believe it is his inability to improve in other areas of his game like striking and submissions. Griffin showed he was the better fighter than Ortiz when Tito couldn’t get him to the ground, and in this fight, Griffin should be able to stay off the ground while Ortiz will have to rely on takedowns. Look for Griffin to win this fight with better striking, earning a decision win over Ortiz.
Additional Line: Over/Under 12 minutes for fight length. Over (-160) Under (+120).
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Posted: 11/17/09 9:34PM ET

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