Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz has suffered a fractured neck that will put him out of action for several months while also cancelling his scheduled bout against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson on Nov. 2.
Ortiz was set to come back to the sport after retiring in 2012 following a loss to Forrest Griffin and his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Following his exit from active competition, Ortiz underwent several surgeries to repair various damage done to his knee while competing in the Octagon, but once he felt healthy again the 38-year-old former champion decided to return to the cage.
Unfortunately, Ortiz’s body gave out in the final days leading up to the fight and the diagnosis from his doctors was a fractured neck. Ortiz attempted to stay in the bout, but his doctors insisted that he drop out after explaining that landing awkwardly on the injured neck could cause permanent damage like paralysis.
The "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" made his first public statement Friday night via Twitter.
I tried everything to fight.My doc and Bjorn made the final decision.I will heal and will be back.Thank you for the support.Sorry Tw family!
There is no set time table when Ortiz could return to action, but he could be out up to six months depending on the healing time for his neck.
This isn’t the first time Ortiz has suffered a serious neck injury. In 2010 while coaching on The Ultimate Fighter opposite Chuck Liddell, Ortiz actually left the show to have neck surgery to fuse discs together that had been causing him serious pain and numbness in his extremities while still filming. The injury forced Ortiz off the show and out of his scheduled bout against Liddell.
Ortiz will turn 39 in January and with this injury it could potentially force him into retirement, especially given the dire stakes of what happens if he suffers another setback while in training or a fight.