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UFC 140: Tito Ortiz falls to Rogerio Nogueira

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, top, trades blows with Tito

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, top, trades blows with Tito Ortiz during UFC 140. (Dec. 10, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

It wasn't but five months ago when Tito Ortiz faced the end of his career in the UFC. He hadn't won a fight in five years and was on the verge of being released.

A submission victory over Ryan Bader reshaped Ortiz's career perspective and gave him a rebirth of relevancy in the light heavyweight division.

He then lost to Rashad Evans the next month after taking the fight on three weeks' notice. The loss only helped the former light heavyweight champion regain the respect of fight fans and promoters.

So there he was on Saturday night, inside the octagon at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, with talk of retirement floating around.

Newly rebranded as "The People's Champion," Ortiz finds himself in a similar situation now as he did last July, having lost by first-round TKO to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 140.

Nogueira (20-5) dropped Ortiz (17-10-1) in the second minute with a knee to the midsection, and "Little Nog" kept the pressure on with ground and pound until referee Yves Lavigne stopped the bout with 1:45 left in the first round.

"He caught me clean in the same place when I fought Rashad, exact same spot," Ortiz said, referring to a knee to the solar plexus in the Evans fight.

Ortiz addressed the retirement talk after the loss to Nogueira.

"I have one more fight left on my contract, and hopefully Dana [White] will let me do that," Ortiz said. "I want that one more 'W.'"

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