Tito Ortiz Had Neck Fusion Surgery
According to Dave Meltzer, Tito Ortiz was finally allowed to speak on his neck injury after last night’s edition of The Ultimate Fighter aired. Ortiz revealed that he had neck fusion surgery on March 15th. Back in February, Ortiz had a major scare after a training session. When complete, he went home for some rest and fell asleep on the couch, but when he woke up, he couldn’t walk and was scared to death. He was diagnosed with bone spurs and a disc pressing on his spine, which started to cause numbness in his arms.
Ortiz claims that the issues go back to training for the Griffin fight, where he got dropped on his head. He wanted to pull out of the event, but when Brock Lesnar wasn’t a go for the show, he felt the pressure to fight on the card. Ortiz was dealing with a concussion, neck issues and a fractured orbital bone after the Griffin fight, and did not do any training before the filming of the Ultimate Fighter. He had hoped that the time off would help with his injuries, and that the headaches he was suffering were due to the orbital bone fracture and the concussion, but were due to the neck.
Ortiz saw several doctors over the course of a week, some even provided by the UFC, and then the decision was made to have surgery. Dr. William Smith, the same doctor who did his lower back fusion surgery, fused his C-6 and C-7 disc. He also put a plate and screws into the neck. Ortiz hopes to get back to light training in a month, and hopes to fight again in October or November. He still hopes to fight Chuck Liddell. He has a total of five fights remaining on his contract.