Mixed Martial Arts Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
UFC legend Tito Ortiz chases the world title

Since the humble beginnings of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, the organization has literally fought for acceptance as a mainstream sport. The mix of boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu and other combat disciplines has recently seen an explosion in popularity due to increased exposure and a new understanding of the sport.

One of the men who has been instrumental in the rise of the UFC is fighter Tito Ortiz. With his platinum-blonde hair, trash-talking style and undisputable physical gifts, Ortiz has been a man fans either love, or love to hate. Either way, he's meant money at the box office. On Oct. 10, he'll face Ken Shamrock on Spike TV with a title shot on the line. Ortiz recently took a few minutes out of his training to talk via phone with NBCSports.com, where he spoke about his childhood, whether any NFL player could beat him in the cage, and getting people to donate blood -- without using his fists.

Q: Are you a football fan?

A: I'm a huge football fan. I have a lot of friends who play on different teams, so I don't have one team I really cheer for. I went to high school with (Chiefs' tight end) Tony Gonzalez. Stephen Neal, who plays for the Patriots, I went to college with. I like watching all the games.

When I was a senior at Huntington Beach High, I used to work Greco-Roman with Tony Gonzalez because it would help him push guys around off the line. He thought a little wrestling would help him. That might have been just a little facet of what he does, but it's been really cool to see him achieve what he has.


Q: People always talk about how tough NFL players are, but do you think there's an NFL player you couldn't whip?

A: There's not one. It's kind of funny, because the really big guys, you just think he's so big, but you can just take them down and choke them out. The guys that are slender like me, they may know boxing, but the jiu-jitsu game and wrestling game take a long time to learn. So you add both of those together and they're kind of hard to stop. I don't think there's one guy in the NFL I couldn't stop within a couple minutes, three minutes at the most. I guarantee that, too. But I'm a professional at what I do. If you put me on the field, I'm going to get crushed by those guys. If you put them in an octagon, they're going to get crushed by me. They wake up and put their pads on. I wake up and put my gloves on.

Q: What is it like when you step into the octagon and they shut the door behind you and it's just you and your opponent?

A: It's all about competition. I've been competing now in the UFC for almost 10 years. I was competing there when it was pretty much the dark ages and there were only 15,000 pay-per-view buys, and now we're getting 775,000 pay-per-view buys, when there was 1,500 people in the stands and now there are 15,000. It's just a whole different rush now. It's something we've worked so hard for and it's paying off. Once I step in the octagon, my body just takes over and I'm on cruise control. All of the training I do, training six days a week, four hours a day, that's what I prepare for. So when I step in the octagon, all the anxiety is gone, the stress is gone. I'm not nervous at all. I let my body control what I need to do in the octagon to compete.

Q: In the past, people have questioned the legitimacy of mixed martial arts as a sport and its fighters as athletes. How have you sensed that changing in the last couple of years as the sport has grown?

A: I've seen it change a bunch. I was there at the beginning when fighters were just jiu-jitsu guys or just wrestling guys or boxing guys. Now everyone runs the full realm of kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, cardio and weight training. I guess I have to thank Spike TV for educating fans about what mixed martial arts is really about. Some people had stereotyped it as a battle to the death, and it's nothing like that. We have a referee in there, and as they see the rules applied, people understood it and that's why it's become one of the most exciting, fastest-growing sports today.

Q: You've faced Ken Shamrock twice and beat him twice. Why the need for a third match?

A: After the first one, even though he lost, a lot of fans still believed in him and what he used to be. And we have a rivalry. We did The Ultimate Fighter and were coaches on opposite teams. There's a dislike we have. I don't dislike many people, but Ken Shamrock is a person I really, really dislike. It's on a personal level, not a sport level. The second time we fought, a lot of people said the referee stopped it too quickly. This third match, (UFC President) Dana White called and asked me if I'd fight him a third time. I asked him if it'd be on pay-per-view, and he said, 'no.' I said, 'Great. Let's give the fans a gift.' On Oct. 10, they're going to get a free fight on Spike TV. Let's see us break the record and get 15 million people to watch us fight. (The next UFC card is a Sept. 23 pay-per-view featuring Matt Hughes vs. B.J. Penn.)

Q: Your nickname is 'The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.' But on The Ultimate Fighter, you showed a softer side, even told the guys that you were training that it's OK to cry. You also proved to be a great coach. Was it nice to show a different side of yourself?

A: That side's always been there. The 'Huntington Beach Bad Boy' is the person that steps into the octagon. I have to uphold an image, I have to put on a persona because it's competition, it's fighting, and only the best and strongest will survive. All the crap I talk to my opponents, I'm playing a mental game. I'm going to try to pick them apart mentally, find their weaknesses and find their aggressions and throw them off their game. But the person outside of the octagon, I'm really fan-friendly. I never say no to an autograph or a picture. I do all kinds of charity work. I just did a blood drive in Phoenix that brought in 210 people to donate blood. That's going to save hundreds of lives. In the big scheme of life, God put me on this earth to help others. And whatever it takes to help others, I'll do. I'm trying to do the best I can at being a fighter. My goal is showing that through perseverance, you can prevail.

This man says he can whip any man in the NFL. Would you tell him he's wrong?


Q: Does that perseverance comes from getting through a tough childhood?

A: Yes. At about the age of 6 six my parents moved from Huntington Beach to Santa Ana, Calif. My mom and dad became drug addicts to heroin. I went on a long ride with them from the age of 6 until about 13. In and out of gangs, and hanging around with the wrong people. It was a dark time in my life, but I learned a lot from it. When I was about 13, there was a gang I was in, and one my friends ended up getting shot. I told my mom and she didn't believe me, so I ended up taking her over and we saw him being carried away in a body bag. It was like a light going off in her head. She realized she had to get me out of there or I could be next. She left my father, and for her to be with my dad for 15 years and leave him to give me a better life, I think that was huge for her.

We went back to Huntington Beach. By the time I was a sophomore in high school, I found wrestling. It was like a family, with all the wrestlers and their families. They took a liking to me, and I got pretty good at it. I dedicated myself to it. People find Jesus to save their lives, I found wrestling to save my life. It was real to me.

When I turned 18, my mom gave me 800 dollars and I moved out. I got in and out of drugs and stuff. A coach from a local junior college pulled me aside and asked what I was doing with my life. He asked me to come to his office and we'd figure out some financial aid to get me in school. I looked in the mirror that day and I was skinny as heck. I looked like a drug addict a little bit, and I came to the realization, this isn't the future for me. I went to school and got financial aid. From there on, I started to wrestle, and it eventually led me to UFC. Being on TV was something I liked. A star was born. God gave me a gift, and I'm trying to use it to the fullest. I don't use drugs, I try to help underprivileged kids. I try to be an inspiration to show what hard work and dedication can do, and that no matter what field you're in, hard work repays a person at the end.


Q: Dana White recently announced that if you beat Ken Shamrock in your next match, a title shot against Chuck Liddell awaits. What will you do differently than your last matchup with Chuck?

A: When I do beat Ken Shamrock, I really want my belt back. When Chuck and I fought the first time, I got pressed into something I didn’t want to do. Liddell was one of my training partners. We were the first Team Punishment, and I wanted to make sure we got paid a lot of money before we fought each other. And at the time, we didn't. I got pressed into doing something I didn't want to do so I did it more for the fans than myself. Now, the times have changed. I'm getting paid the money I want. He's getting paid the money he wants. Now, it's going to be a clash of the titans. I'll change my fight strategy a little bit, but not that much, because I believe I have great standup, and my wrestling is good, too. I'm a great fighter. I'm looking at my belt around his waist, which I want back. We're no longer friends; we're acquaintances at most, so it's strictly business now. I need my belt back. It's not about the money or our friendship. It's about me being the world champion.

SOURCE The "Bad Boy" takes aim - Sports - NBCSports.com
 

·
The American Psycho
Joined
·
6,946 Posts
If he is not doing that much to change his game plan against Chuck Liddell then he is going to lose big time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,763 Posts
I bet he's just saying that. I think when it comes down to it he'll do what he can to get the fight to the ground.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,961 Posts
TITO is gonna do it...He is gonna stop chuck with elbow strikes in rd 4..:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
That's a great Q&A from Tito.... Heh I like the part about beating any NFL player was funny, true but funny. I think Tito was right about not having to change much of his gameplan. Patience and wait for the shoot, dont trade too much with Chuck. If Chuck starts to chase he might get sloppy and leave an opening for a take-down, who knows.... Will be fun to watch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,615 Posts
That's a great Q&A, it really gives a lot of insight to Tito Ortiz as an actual person, instead of knowing him as a fighter. I find it cool that he does a lot of charity work and helps underpriviledged kids.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,961 Posts
TITO's buddy Stephen Neal from the patriots , that he was talkin about..would give him a great fight Neal is like 6'4 310..and he was Div 1 national champion wrestler in the super heavyweight division...the guy is a beast..TITO wouldnt be takin that dude down... i think hed throw tito around like a rag doll
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
I can't to see Tito vs Chuck 2.

I wonder if there's even a remote posibilty it could be on the same night as George going for a title shot. I'm sure that would make for an unbelivable card.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,961 Posts
MMA freak said:
He will be Chucks biggest threat in a rematch however Chuck will pull it off again. But if Tito gets him on his back on the ground (which is hard to do against Chuck) Tito can win easily the way Couture won in the first fight but I doubt it because Couture is one of the best UFC wrestlers of all time.
are u back rush or what
 

·
Crazy Kicker
Joined
·
957 Posts
ya seeing as how hard it was for randy to get chuck to his back and how tito was dominated by randy i dont see tito taking his belt back
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top