Light heavyweight Tito Ortiz recently spoke with Fight Hub TV, and revealed that his contract with Bellator MMA is for the same amount no matter who he fights. Thus it makes sense that, coming off a title shot loss to Liam McGeary, he would rather fight Royce Gracie than Fedor Emelianenko.
Still, Ortiz has had a year to rest up and recover from neck surgery, and is game to fight Fedor, provided The Last Emperor comes down to 205.
“I sat there and started talking about Royce, the whole time,” said Tito, as transcribed by Zane Simon for BE. “You know what, I respect Royce so much. I said that’s the only reason I would want to compete against him. It’s nothing bad against him, I really really like the guy, but I just think his name is such a huge name. It’d really make sense for my last fight. But he don’t want to do it… I guess I don’t want to do it either. So let’s make an interesting fight.
“Let’s see if Fedor can get down to 205. Rampage. Rampage talked the kind of smack his last fight, saying that he’ll fight me no matter what. Okay, let it be. Let’s see him get down to 205. I’m a 205 lb fighter, been my whole career, 19 years. I’m not going anywhere, no reason to give anybody a little extra. I understand my levels of how I like to compete, and at 205 that’s where I’m super fast. I’m a workhorse and that’s my weight. So, Rampage or Fedor, or whoever they have else to fight me at 205. I don’t care.”
Ortiz also confirmed that he had been directly offered a fight with Fedor.
“They came to me, actually, about it,” said Ortiz. “Scott came to me about it and I was like, ‘If he can make 205, right on! I’m down for it, let’s do it.’ Like I said, I’m a light heavyweight, I understand my limits. I’m not going to go out there just to fight for money and to put on a show for people at the risk of my own health. I won’t do that. I know my limits, as I say, and I’m a 205 lb light heavyweight. I walk around 220, 225, right now. Fedor’s a big cat. I did a press junket with him in England and God, he’s about 6′ 1″ and a good 240, 245. He’s a big cat. As I say, I know my limits. I respect the guy, but at the same time, he makes 205? Let the beatings begin.”
For the record, Fedor doesn’t cut for fights, and weighed in at 236 his last fight, 235 the one before that. Ortiz was asked about a catchweight fight with Fedor.
“Possibly, that’s a good idea too,” he said. “We’ll see, it’s up to them. It’s up to them and it’s up to Scott. I put every decision in his hands and let him do it and I’m just here to fight. I’m just ready to show my fans that I’m still here to compete and my body’s healthy, my mind’s right; I don’t think I’ve really stepped back on any things in my trainings. So, I’m able to do the stuff that I wanna do to become great.”
Despite that fact that he had been calling out a 49-year-old who fought at 176 his entire career, and weighed in at 190.8 pounds in a gi last fight, Ortiz reaffirmed that weight is what’s preventing a Fedor fight.
“I think it’s just the weight, in my mind,” he explained. “That’s the only thing stopping me. I’m getting paid the same amount of money no matter what, don’t matter who it is. Don’t matter if it’s some nobody on the street – which I would never do – but still. Bellator have really given us our own constructive criticism about our own careers. So, it’s really lucky to have that and to give us the decisions of who we’re going to fight, when we’re going to fight. And give us the opportunity to fight the people we wanna fight, it’s lucky to be at Bellator to do that.”