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Tito Ortiz: 'Kimbo Slice is a step down for me'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Kimbo Slice called out Tito Ortiz for his first fight in Bellator, but the other part isn’t interested in the fight.

Slice, who signed with Bellator to make his return to mixed martial arts five after his last MMA fight, a TKO loss to Matt Mitrione in the UFC, told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that he would like to fight the UFC Hall of Famer in his promotional debut.

"S**t, you know they could put Tito (Ortiz) on that plane, too," he said. "For sure. I got a bone to pick with that dude, man.

"Ain't no problem with him yet, but you know, from back in the Strikeforce days, I was handling s**t about him calling me out and talking s**t about me, so yeah, we could definitely put that in the making. He's gotta have a problem with my hand game."

Ortiz isn’t interested, though.

The former UFC light heavyweight kingpin, who defeated then-middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko and Stephan Bonnar in his two fights under the Bellator banner in 2014, believes Slice would be a "step down" in competition.

"Fight Kimbo is a step down for me," Ortiz told Ag. Fight. "In his last fight he was choked out and he is a street fighter, I’m a world champion. Fighting someone like Kimbo is a step down. I don’t wanna fight a street fighter."

The Bellator light heavyweight championship will be on the line at Bellator 134 on Feb. 27, with Emanuel Newton facing undefeated Liam McGeary in Uncasville, Conn., and "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" wants to face the winner next.

"I’ll be fighting in May, possibly in June," Ortiz said. "I have to wait for the fight between Emanuel Newton and McGeary and I hope to fight the winner.

"I signed for four fights in my contract. In the first bout, I was the underdog and I stopped the middleweight champ Shlemenko in 2:27 minutes. Bonnar comes and talk a lot of crap about me, so I had to fight him. I wanna fight for the world title, but I had to shut him up. Now my focus is to fight for the title."