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Morning Report: Tito Ortiz on possible fight with Fedor Emelianenko: 'Let the beatings begin!'

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Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz says he would like to fight Fedor Emelianenko but wants to do so at 205 pounds.

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It has been almost a year since former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz last fought, a submission loss to Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary at Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1 in September. After that fight, Ortiz had to have surgery to have vertebrae fused in his neck and has since been rehabbing and recovering. Now however, Ortiz is back to training and ready to return to the cage, and he's tossing around some big names for his return.

Speaking with FightHub TV recently, Ortiz posited Royce Gracie, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and Fedor Emelianenko as possible return opponents.

"I respect Royce so much, 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 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 kind of talked 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."

Jackson and Ortiz have previously discussed the possibility of fighting one another with Ortiz saying he would rather not since they are friends. However, Rampage vocalized being willing to fight Ortiz so now it appears that Ortiz is willing to set friendship aside for the moment. But he does have one condition.

"I'm a 205 lb. fighter, been my whole career, 19 years and 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."

The insistence of fighting at light heavyweight may be a bit of a hang up though. Rampage's last fight was a split decision victory over Satoshi Ishii in a heavyweight bout in June and he has said that he no longer is able to make the cut to 205 lbs. Emelianenko is, of course, a legend in heavyweight MMA and has never made the cut to 205 lbs. before. It is very possible he may not be able to do so. But Ortiz, 41, is reluctant to risk his health against a bigger man.

"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 245, 240. He's a big cat. Like I said, I know my limits. I respect the guy but at the same time, if he makes 205, let the beatings begin."

Of course, Emelianenko doesn't have any real incentive to make his first weight cut ever at the age of 39 so it is exceedingly unlikely that would happen. When asked about the potential of a catchweight fight with Emelianenko, Ortiz said that it was, "possible" but that he is also lacks the incentive to take a risk like that.

"I think it's just the weight. 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."

As for when Ortiz will be back, he says he is just waiting for Bellator President Scott Coker to tell him when and where but that he hopes it will be before the end of the year.

"Before the year is over. Maybe next couple of months. I'm just waiting on Scott Coker and making the right decision. I'm a business guy and I'm part of the business. Whenever they want me to fight, I'm getting ready now so I'll be in shape to fight... The business side is already etched out to everything I want to do in my contract. Right now it's just what the fans want, what they want to see."

You can watch the full interview below where he also has some comments on the recent unionization effort of UFC fighters.

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EXTRA CREDIT READING

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Kenya Miranda (2-2-0) vs. Emily Ducote (3-1-0)Bellator 161, September 16.

Mark Dickman (11-2-0) vs. Daniel Pineda (21-12-0); Bellator 161, September 16.

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Shawn Jordan (18-7-0) vs. Ashley Gooch; WSOF 33, October 7.

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Seo Hee Ham (16-7-0) vs. Danielle Taylor (7-2-0); UFC Fight Night 97, October 15.

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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

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2003: At Pancrase: 10th Anniversary Show, Josh Barnett submitted Yuki Kondo with a rear-naked choke to become theOpenweight King of Pancrase.

2012: Andrei Arlovski and Tim sylvia fought for a 4th time at ONE FC 5, this time resulting in a No Contest when Arlovski knocked sylvia down and then soccer kicked him against the organization's "open attack" rule. At the time, the rule stated that soccer kicks were legal upon the prompting of the referee declaring "open attack." Arlovski kicked Sylvia before this occurred resulting in the No Contest but as a result of this fight, ONE FC abandoned the open attack rule and adopted full Pride rules shortly afterwards.

2013: Anthony Pettis became the UFC lightweight champion after he submitted Benson Henderson at UFC 164. This event also saw the return to the octagon of former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett after an 11 year absence. He stopped Frank Mir with knees in the first round.

Also on this day in 2013, the inaugural Deep Jewels card was held wherein the Jewels brand officially ceased independent operations and folded into Deep.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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Can't blame Tito for his stance here. If he's not getting any extra money no real reason to risk his personal health for a fight with Fedor. Still, it ain't the best look to want to fight an ancient Royce Gracie he outweighs by at least 20 lbs. but not want to fight Fedor who probably only has about 10 lbs. on him.

That's all for today folks. Have a good one.

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If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.