Interview: Tito Ortiz talks his loss, Fedor and Jon Jones

The following is from Submission Radio

On getting caught in the reverse triangle and losing to Liam McGeary

“I made a mistake. I will never make that mistake again. I haven’t been submitted since 1998 and I won’t ever let that happen again. I was so mad at myself. We worked so hard in training. I mean, I put so much in into that fight, I mean so much. Twelve weeks I put into it. So much triangle defences, reverse triangle defences, arm lock defences, like everything. And Liam was just a little longer, a little faster, a little step ahead of me, and in the last two seconds of the fight I made mistake (laughs). And I’m like, ‘damn. Damn to me’. But you know what? If I’m gonna lose to anybody, like I said, I’ll lose to the champ.”

If retirement crossed Tito’s mind during the post-fight speech at Bellator Dynamite

“Never. No. I have one more fight. I make really, really, really, really good money and I love it. This is fun, I like to fight, and I don’t know, I fulfil everything that is given to me. I had a contract with four fights on it, I’m gonna have one more fight to finish up four fights and I’ll fulfil it. There was no idea of retiring at all. It would be nice. Maybe it is time, but I think one more good fight. My body’s right, my mind’s right, everything’s just firing on all cylinders and I like the way life is right now, and it’s fun again to do it. Like I said, I lost to the champion. It wasn’t like I lost to a nobody. I look back on it, and should I have picked an easier fight? Should I have fought a Kimbo, or a Ken Shamrock, or a Frank Shamrock? No. I fought the best man and he was better than me that night. But it wasn’t like I got dominated. Wasn’t like he was gonna knock me unconscious. No, I fought him and I made a mistake.”

On if this loss to Liam was one of Tito’s toughest losses in years

 “It was one of the toughest losses in years, ’cause I put so much into it and everything at home was so perfect, and I felt like I was gonna win. It was hard, it was really hard. It took a couple of weeks, you know, it took all the way until now. I took a couple of weeks to kind of lick my wounds and understand that things happen for a reason. I think I feel better after a loss than I would if I won. It’d be nice to win, but still I gotta be challenged in my life like this to understand that just ’cause everything is perfect, don’t mean that life is going to end up perfect. But I can make it as perfect as possible for my kids and my family, and that’s number one. And so long as I’m happy doing it, that makes most sense. But I took it hard, I took it really hard. But I just…I already got back into the gym, I started doing weights and speed bag work. So I wanna keep my shape, I want to compete again, and I don’t know – does that spring Shamrock fight happen. I mean, do one of those other super-fights happen where someone wants to watch it? ‘Cause I mean, I’m not going to get my title shot anymore. I have one more fight on my contract, so let’s make a spectacle of it and let’s get  somebody that I can kill almost.”

On what his Motivation would be for his next fight, considering he won’t be getting another title shot

“I guess draw the fight out and make it 15 minutes of just pure punishment and entertain the fans that go watch it. Let them all go out and see a beating unfold in front of them.”

On who Tito will pick for his last fight

“I don’t know, I guess I have to sit down with Scott Coker and, I mean, possibly just make the fans pick the fighter. Let the fans choose. Somebody that they want to see a spectacle, somebody that will just ‘wow’ the fans. I think that’s what it comes down to. I don’t know, maybe they can do a vote and let the fans pick who I fight next.”

On if Tito will fight Fedor in Japan on NYE

“Not on New Year’s Eve, no. I would love to. I just gotta go in and get some little, light surgical work done, I guess you could say. I gotta go get a bone shaved down. So I’ll be healed by next year. But I’m going to enjoy Christmas, I’m going to enjoy Thanksgiving, I’m going to enjoy New Year’s, I’m going to enjoy my birthday for the first time in a long, long, long time. I miss missing those times, and right now my kids are six years old and I want to enjoy the holidays with my children. I think that’s the number one thing for me right now, is to be a Dad and to be happy. New Years Eve, I’ll be having a cold beer in my hand, saying “happy new year’s” to my family, instead of going out and trying to kill somebody. It sound a lot funner to me (laugh). I’ve been putting a lot of work in over a last few years, so I think it’s time to take a little break.”

On how Tito sees the fight between him and Fedor going and what advantages he holds over him

“Wrestling of course. On our feet, he’s a little older. He’s not the young guy who throws super fast now. I think in the wrestling area. Him going for submissions, and they’re not crisp for submissions. So just try and punish him. But of course if we fought each other, it’d be at light heavyweight. I mean I’ve always fought at Light Heavyweight. There’s no reason to go . I think my weight class, when I’m in the best shape possible is 205, and that’s what I’ll to fight at. But you know, I think my wrestling will keep it at par. I know the fight on New Year’s, I’ve heard of a few opponents, so it will be a question of if he can handle the competitors he competes against.”

Tito on if Fedor is one of the best of all time

“Well, one of the best of all time? Of course. You know, there’s ‘one of’. I mean ‘one of’ is how many? Ten? I mean, you put the number on that and that’s the number. But the best of all time? No way. Pound for pound, the best of all time? No. He fought a lot of guys that were great at their time and his time, but you gotta go for all time, for everybody he’s competed against. You know, in Japan they did give him a lot of ‘gimme fights’. Of course it’s Japan and they want to do spectacle fights, where it’s a completely one sided match. But he did beat a lot of good guys. You can’t take that away from him. And he’s one of probably the biggest names in MMA. Fedor has dominated so much and so many other competitors, but the greatest of all time? No. One of? Yes. He’s one of the greatest of all time. Yes. You gotta give him that. He’s a great, great fighter.”

On who is the greatest pound for pound fighter

“Well if Jon Jones can get his shit together, I think it’d be Jon Jones for sure. As a fighter, that guy is amazing. I mean he has to be an adult and stop being a kid”

On the disappointing TV ratings that Bellator 142: Dynamite drew

“I think you can’t go head up (against) Stanford and USC. I think that was a bad one, there was a big upset here in the states for football. I mean there was over eight million viewers on that television. So eight million people watching that sport, you know, a lot of people watch football. I mean, that’s plain and simple. A lot of people watch football. And I think Bellator or Spike and whoever was doing the PR for it could’ve promoted it a little bit better. I did all my own PR. I did pretty much more than fifty percent of it. And for a fighter to do fifty percent of the PR for an event, somebody needs to step their game up. But hey, Bellator’s still learning, they’re getting better. But to compete against the football, that just makes a big difference.”

 Tito shares his thoughts on the NSAC’s suspension of Nick Diaz

“You know, as (far as) Nick Diaz having his third offence – I guess when you say ‘three times, shame on you’, and this is a complete shame on him on this one for his third time. But for five years? I think that’s getting a little drastic. I mean, the guy has a license to smoke marijuana.”

“In my eyes, I don’t see it as a stimulant to make you a better fighter. I’m not saying this is ok to do, or anything like that, but five years is a little drastic. And I see Jon Jones just get a slap on the wrist from getting a felony and wrecking into a car, or wrecking into a girl who was pregnant and (has) 72 public appearances at a ‘Boys and Girls’ club and 18 months probation. I just scratch my head about that, going ‘this is crazy’. And there’s so many other instances that happen. I mean, as far as Anderson Silva. He only gets popped for a year for doing steroids, which is an enhancement drug for mixed martials. It just doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it. I’m glad it’s never been a problem that I’ve had. So I just gotta sit back and let the athletic commission do their job. I don’t agree with it, but I sure don’t agree with any athlete using any type of drugs, whether it does help you or doesn’t, during training, during fights.”

On if Cybrog can get down to 135 lbs to fight Ronda Rousey

“Well if Ronda ever wants to fight. Cris told Ronda she’d cut down to 135 to fight and Ronda won’t do it. So she said she wants to get more fights under her belt. So they keep feeding 135-pounders to Ronda and Cris is just (gonna) keep dominating at 140-145, until Ronda finally says ‘ok, we’ll fight’. So we’re just waiting for Ronda to step up.”

If Tito gives Holly Holm a shot against Ronda

“Submission in two minutes.”

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *