<div class="Article" style="float: left;"> <table> <tr style="vertical-align: bottom;"> <td> <h3><a href="/go=news.detail&gid=169752" target="_blank"> The Eras of MMA Part 2: The First Superstars, 1999-2006 </a></h3> </td> </tr> </table> <a href="/go=news.detail&gid=169752" ><img class="photo" src="http://img.mixedmartialarts.com/method=get&rs=56&q=75&x=6&y=30&w=245&h=130&ro=0&s=CC2A075C-1D09-6BFC-E5BE6544F2D4F99E.jpg" /></a> <strong class="ArticleSource">[cagepotato.com]</strong> <div style="clear: both; line-height: 1px;height: 1px;"> </div> </div> <blockquote>
The Tito Ortiz Era: April ’00 – September ‘03
From the moment he put on a custom-made “I Just Fucked Your Ass” t-shirt following his beating of Jerry Bohlander at UFC 18, it was clear that Jacob “Tito” Ortiz was as much a promoter as he was a fighter. Between his entertaining trash-talk, bleach-blonde hair, and aggressive ground-and-pound style, fans went nuts for the Huntington Beach Bad Boy, turning him into the UFC’s first big-money draw.
After losing his first title-fight to Frank Shamrock in a classic four-rounder at UFC 22, Ortiz got another shot at the 205-pound belt the next year when Shamrock vacated his title. This time, he was successful — Ortiz used his takedowns to win a unanimous decision over Wanderlei Silva, and would successfully defend the belt five more times. By the time he lost his title to Randy Couture at UFC 44, he had been holding it for three years and five months.
Later, his multi-fight feuds with Chuck Liddell and Ken Shamrock became blockbuster successes, and helped put the UFC in the black after the lean early years of Zuffa’s takeover. His last post-fight t-shirt, worn after his defeat by Lyoto Machida at UFC 84, carried the message “I Did It My Way.” Say what you want about Ortiz’s malapropisms or increasing irrelevance — you can’t argue with that particular career summary.
The Wanderlei Silva Era: December '00 - June '05