Luke Thomas chimes in on the possibility:
If Ortiz can generate enough interest in his future fights by claiming injustice against Griffin, he can continue to rebuild and hone his skills in the interim. If the UFC can provide more manageable opposition in future opposition, Ortiz can work towards a legitimate challenge .
Need proof? Look no further than Shogun Rua. After a disappointing performance against Forrest Griffin, Shogun was given an easier contest in Mark Coleman (yes, Coleman is still dangerous, but let's not point to that fight as evidence) only to get a subsequent fight against a diminished, if more capable Liddell. This allowed Shogun to buy time in his recovery such that at the moment he arrived at the Machida fight, he was actually ready to take on serious challenges. Point blank, Ortiz has not been afforded the same opportunity.
It's no guarantee Ortiz returns to any semblance of an old form. Any future success hinges on changes he's willing to make and performances he has to turn in. But the door is still open. There is still a window of time to be relevant. Not the relevancy of before, but something new. The choice to take advantage of that opportunity belongs only to Mr. Ortiz.
I don't know if the comparison to Rua is adequate. Yes, both had major surgeries and were out of action for extended periods of time. However, Rua is/was much younger and possesses a much more dynamic overall skill set than Ortiz. So he was able to pull off the comeback effectively. The 2009 version of Ortiz, even with improved cardio, is the same as the 2006 Tito Ortiz. If you stop the take down, you pretty much have a clear path to victory because Ortiz has failed to develop the other necessary skill sets to become a complete fighter. I think his style meshes well with Griffin, which makes that fight more competitive than it should be. Griffin lacks the power to knock him out, and Ortiz is an experienced enough grappler to avoid being submitted. Griffin's take down defense, while improved, is still not one of his strong points. Not to mention that Tito's standup skills have been the same for quite some time, while lacking KO power of his own. All of those ingredients give us the fights we saw at UFC 59 and UFC 106. Think about it, most people would agree that Forrest Griffin is a much better fight now than he was in 2006. Yet, we still got relatively the same fight. However, Tito against anyone else close to being top ten is probably going to be an embarrasing night for Mr. Ortiz.
Tito's been trying to hone his skills(mainly his standup) since forever, and it still looks the same as it always has. He may be able to beat the Stephan Bonnar's of the world, but would one call that being relevant? What say you?