Congratulations to the man most responsible for the popularity of #MMA
in today's market. He added about 200 new rooms to the house that Royce Gracie built in the mid 90s. From 99-03, nobody could touch Tito atop the light heavyweight weight class. It was his fight with Ken Shamrock in late 2002 coupled with the spike TV #UFC
reality show that started up about a year later that announced the arrival of MMA as a respectable part of the American sports landscape. Unfortunately for Tito, the inevitable decline that every fighter must endure that, essentially, ushers them to retirement hit just as the popularity of MMA exploded, mostly on the back of his efforts. Instead of Tito, who was first to transcend the sport, being the face of the UFC franchise as it steamrolled ahead as a mainstay in our culture, it was his one time training partner and recent conqueror, the great Chuck Liddell. And while Liddell was, without a shadow of a doubt deserving, those of us who loved MMA in the prehistoric era know that was actually Tito that carried the sport to legitimacy. Unfortunately, to most MMA fans who's fandom birthed after 2004, he's just some geezer that hung on too long. He's not. He's a cornerstone who was universally loved. Ironically, when that popularity boon occurred and MMA became the new trend is exactly when I hopped off the bandwagon. Congrats to a great champ going out on his terms against a guy who was nothing more than a strongarm wrestling clone of the originator of that brash shit talking style..... that was Tito himself!! Thanks for everything champ!
#Brooklyn #flatbush #NYC #gym #fitness #boxing #wethebest #bricksquad #bjj #Titoortiz @titoortiz1999