The absurdity was at an all time high at Bellator 120, which was held in the nation’s state where education is at an all time low. Tito Ortiz stepped back into the cage at the Landers Center in Mississippi after a two-year healing hiatus and had Alexander Shlemenko submitted before the end of the first round. The crowd was thankful for the action after booing their way through the Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs “King Mo” Lawal fight, a revealing insight into their perception of proportions and the preposterous.
Shlemenko fighting Ortiz is about as believable of a matchup as Shaquille O’Neil going one on one with Muggsy Bogues. The crowd didn’t care, though — they wanted to see someone get get rendered unconscious just as every NASCAR fan openly loves a good pile up. Forget weight divisions and matches made with integrity. Did you see his body go limp when he got choked out? Did you see that!?
This poses a few questions: How did Ortiz go charging into the cage like he was facing the fight of his life? How did he sell the fight like it was anywhere near an even matchup? How did he get people to believe that for even on second he was dealing with a challenge? The answer: He is a thespian.
In the postfight press conference he was asked about future plans, and like Will Brooks landing a bomb on Michael Chandler‘s mug earlier in the night, Ortiz let fly that he has been taking acting lessons, for six whole months.
If farce-found athletic hubris is any indication that a post-career acting stint is in order for Ortiz, there may be trouble afoot. Just look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson‘s post WWE arc through Hollywood. Imagine a B movie where Ortiz tries to wrap his acting chops around lowbrow dialogue, a plot with a backbone like soggy spaghetti and a supporting cast with their wits warped away by too much hot air. Actually it kind of sounds kinds like Bellator 120; maybe it’ll work if they only show it in Mississippi.