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Old 09-05-2008, 02:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tito Ortiz ‘Wherever I May Roam....I Want The Title’




Former UFC Light-heavyweight Champion and free agent superstar Tito Ortiz took some time today to talk with PDG about being a free agent, UFC 88, Punishment Athletics, ‘Rampage’ vs. Ibarra, Shamrock vs. Slice and who are the best Pound for Pound fighters in mixed martial arts today.



PDG: Let's start with Saturday night's main event at UFC 88; since you fought both fighters, what are your thoughts on Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans?
Ortiz: What? that fight is already this Saturday? I guess they haven't been promoting it very well because I haven't seen anything on it. I think it is an interesting fight for Chuck but I don't think he's going to have any problem with Rashad. All of the pressure is on Chuck to keep winning, since he is a company man.

PDG: So do you think the fight is going to go the distance like your fight with Evans?
Ortiz: I don't see this going the distance unless Rashad pulls some lucky stuff out of his butt. I guess we'll see what happens when they fight.

PDG: How about your impending career decisions; who are you talking to and how long until you expect to sign with an organization?
Ortiz: Hopefully I have a deal signed before the end of this month. I am still negotiating with the UFC, Affliction and EliteXC. I have had back problems for the last seven years and now that my body is fixed I am just looking for the best organization to continue my career with. I am really excited and whoever I sign with....hopefully it's the last deal I have to sign in my career. I just need to make the best business decision for myself and for the fans that want to watch me fight.

PDG: Regardless of who you sign with, are there a couple of fights that you would like to have before the end of your career?
Ortiz: Frank Shamrock, I would definitely like to take that loss back and I know he's been running his mouth about it. That is a rematch I would take in a heartbeat. ‘Babalu’ Sobral has been talking a lot of smack, so I like to get that fight done. A Chuck Liddell rematch would be awesome. There are a lot of fights out there that bring interest to me, so we will just see what the future holds. I have a good five or six years of good competition left in me and it is just going to depend on who I sign with.

PDG: ‘Babalu’ lives like a stone's throw from you; do you guys ever run into each other in Southern California?
Ortiz: No, never. If he hangs out in Orange County, I am usually traveling so much that unless he is in downtown Huntington Beach. I wouldn't see him; I work too hard to go out very much.

PDG: What is your current training schedule like?
Ortiz: Once a day, five times a week, working on jui-jitsu, stand-up, wrestling, cardio and lifting. Just making sure that I keep my body in fighting shape. I am actually on my way to the ASR (Action Sports Retailer) show to be a guest speaker and to promote Punishment Athletics but when I get back I will be in the gym full time.

PDG: Are you currently training any other fighters?
Ortiz: I am not specifically training anybody right now but I am working out with Michael Bisping, Rob McCullough and others in open training. Before Cheick Kongo’s last flight, I worked with him on ground training. Basically holding him down while he tried to escape and get back to a standing position. If the fighters are in the gym when I am there, then I'm usually working out with them.

PDG: You mentioned the clothing company; how is business?
Ortiz: Really good, we are expanding and I'm putting a lot of time and effort into it right now. Tapout has had a lot of success and I think in the coming year that Punishment should have the same. Right now it is all about broadening our horizons and trying to get into as many stores as possible. All of the big retail companies are going to be at the ASR show and hopefully they decide to pick up Punishment Athletics.



PDG: What are your thoughts on Forrest Griffin being the UFC Light-heavyweight Champion?
Ortiz: He has worked hard for himself; he has worked hard for the company. They gave them a title shot....which I have no idea where that came from. I thought that Keith Jardine should have been the next in line since he beat Liddell before his loss to Wanderlei Silva. Don't get me wrong, I am happy for him and he worked hard to get where he is today. I have nothing bad to say about Forrest. I would love to get a rematch with Forrest because I would crush him again. I beat him back in 2006 and I wasn't even at 100% but I have to give him respect because of the way that he got to where he is.

On another note, I'm very surprised that Quinton Jackson is not getting a rematch. It's funny how things are worked and I feel bad for ‘Rampage’ because of what he has gone through in life, his achievements in his career and now he is not even getting a chance to get his title back. He made a couple mistakes and hopefully God can forgive him, right?

PDG: Hopefully, what do you think of him changing trainers and camps from Juanito Ibarra to Team Wolfslair?
Ortiz: Let me explain this to you because it really pisses me off that Ibarra has done what he has done, he is a thief. I have been running training camps for seven years up in Big Bear California and the most that my camp has cost a fighter to attend is $35,000. Ibarra was charging Jackson $65,000 to go to Big Bear. I don't understand that!! He was being very disrespectful and taking advantage of ‘Rampage’. Including travel, training partners, food and lodging, the most ever was $35,000, maybe if you flew in more trainers...$40K. Where did that extra money go that Ibarra was charging? ‘Rampage’ is really pissed and he feels betrayed that he was taken advantage of and I couldn't agree more with him. I don't care if Juanito reads this or hears about it anywhere, he already knows that he is blackballed. I don't care who you are; fighters work very hard for the money they earn and I feel slighted for even knowing Juanito.

PDG: It is kind of like NFL football players; you only half a small window of time to make as much money as you can before your career is over.
Ortiz: Exactly and ‘Rampage’ put Juanito on mixed martial arts map. If it wasn't for him no one would even know what a Juanito is. ‘Rampage’ is a straight up contender and he has a lot of years left in his career. I wish him the best of luck and hopefully something like this doesn't happen again.

PDG: Cool, let's move on. You had a long history with Ken Shamrock; what do you think about him fighting Kimbo Slice?
Ortiz: I am very excited to watch the fight because I think he has a chance to beat Kimbo. If Kimbo ends up playing Ken Shamrock's game than there is definitely a chance that he could get caught and lose the fight. I don't think that Kimbo has the best groundwork in the business. I will be there in attendance and I think it will be an exciting fight, so we'll see what happens.

PDG: In your career, you always fought the top fighters in your division. Kind of like what the UFC is doing now with Brock Lesnar. He is definitely not taking the easy road to start his MMA career.
Ortiz: No not at all. Congratulations to Brock, the UFC is using him for everything that they can get out of him. He has a huge chance ahead of him to be a world champion but I don't think he is going to beat Randy Couture. He is a big guy that hits very hard but also makes a lot of mistakes in his stand-up and on the ground. You never know, Randy may get a chance to choke him out on the ground. At the age of 45, it is impossible to have nothing but the utmost respect for Randy Couture. I think it is going to be a great fight.

PDG: My follow-up question to that is EliteXC seems to be taking a different road with Kimbo's career. As his past and future opponent's seem to be stars from the 1990s.
Ortiz: Right, but what a lot of people don't understand is that EliteXC doesn't have the heavyweight talent that is in the UFC and other organizations. That is slowly changing as more organizations are coming up with the money to pay the top fighters in the game and so eventually Kimbo is going to have to fight top competition and then we will see how he does.

PDG: All right, you have been around the game for a long time. In your opinion who are the top five best Pound for Pound fighters in mixed martial arts right now?
Ortiz: Georges St. Pierre is number one for sure. Anderson Silva followed by BJ Penn and I would have to go with Chuck Liddell. He may have suffered a couple of losses but I think he was at a stalemate in his career and now he's back. Randy Couture would round out my top five. I also have to throw out a lot of credit and consideration to Fedor, he is right there with Randy.

PDG: Sounds good, it's such a hard thing to determine that it makes it hard to argue with someone that has been in the game for so long. I wanted to ask about activities outside MMA. A while back you made some appearances on TNA Wrestling; is that something in that you might do again?
Ortiz: It was fun but it was a one-time gig. Being a huge professional wrestling fan I really enjoyed it. You never know though maybe after my fight career is over, you just might see me on WWE [laughs]. Wrestling jobs and all the theatrical stuff is a good time. For me though right now it is all about fighting and I'm going to concentrate on that. Wherever I go, I am going to be the champion! I am very excited about being 100% again after the back surgery and to be able to train with no pain.

PDG: Thanks for your time, it's always a good. Is there anything else you want to add?
Ortiz: Just thanks to all the fans and everyone that watches MMA. I'll be back soon and I'm really looking forward to it.

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Old 09-05-2008, 03:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That was a good interview, not too sure about Tito's top 5 p4p list though...
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Biowza View Post
That was a good interview, not too sure about Tito's top 5 p4p list though...
yeah i know. that was pretty off. Randy ahead of Fedor anyways Fedor is nr.1
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That's funny because whereever I roam I want the title too. Yesterday at the gym I went for the title, got a hamburger at Hilbert's I went for the title there too and last night at a friend's party celebrating the NFL opener- you guess it- I went for the title again.
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