Tito Ortiz is a legend of MMA. One of the first long-reigning champions in UFC history, Ortiz became one of the sport’s first big stars, built on the back of trash talk and blood feuds. And even at age 43, with the best years of his career behind him, Ortiz is still pioneering, being the first fighter to still be actively competing while being retired.
Retirements in combat sports, and MMA in particular, are notoriously short-lived, but Ortiz is taking it to a new level. Despite “retiring” two years ago when he submitted Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170, Ortiz recently took a revenge fight with Chuck Liddell, knocking out his former foe in the first round. Now, Ortiz is looking to settle affairs with Sonnen one more time, all while remaining retired.
“[Chael] started it,” Ortiz told TMZ Sports recently. “As Chuck started it. And Chuck only lasted what, four and a half minutes? He called me out man. I’m gonna stay in retirement. I’m still gonna stay retired, and I’m gonna smash Chael. I’m not gonna choke him, I’m not gonna submit him, I’m gonna smash him. I’ll put a show on for every one of the fans. That’s what I’m gonna do.”
Sonnen and Ortiz have been sniping at each other over social media recently, laying the groundwork for a rematch of their first bout, which was surprisingly non-competitive. But, after losing to Fedor Emelianenko in the semifinals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, Sonnen is without an obvious next dance partner and Ortiz still carries some level of star power. Ortiz is only too happy to oblige him.
“This guy has a loud mouth,” Ortiz said. “I’m gonna shut him up. Like I say: I’m not gonna choke him, I’m not gonna submit him, I’m gonna pummel him for three rounds. And give the fans what they want to see, and that’s a great fight.”
As for where the proposed bout will happen, Ortiz’s brief time with Golden Boy MMA seems to be over, with “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” saying the fight would most likely come under the Bellator banner and that he is pushing for a fight at the Mecca, Madison Square Garden so he can make some more history.
“I don’t know [where],” said Ortiz. “I’ve never fought at Madison Square Garden, so possibly Madison Square Garden. That’ll be the first thing.
“I was the first UFC fighter – mixed martial artist – to ever fight in California. First one. First one to fight in Las Vegas. First one. First one to fight in Florida. First one. So, I’d like to just add to my repertoire of being able to go to Madison Square Garden and fight. Where the greatest have fought. People like Ali, people like Frazier, people like Foreman. Just to do something great for mixed martial arts, at the expense of Chael Sonnen.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
E aí @RdosAnjosMMA cuál eh a disculpa agora ? Fala onde é cuando?— Santiago Ponzinibbio (@SPonzinibbioMMA) December 22, 2018
You tell me you drunk, I’m back on training. https://t.co/A6a146ACkE— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 10, 2019
To de volta aos treinos cachasseiro. Fala tu... https://t.co/A6a146ACkE— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 10, 2019
Nao VAi correr aceptando otra luta! Vc que ecolhe estou pronto pra vc, nao seja pussy— Santiago Ponzinibbio (@SPonzinibbioMMA) January 10, 2019
Pare de beber vacilão, vai tornar um atraso pra largar de ser linguarudo— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 10, 2019
Enough running DIVA, all this talk, your next fight better be with me you pussy #RDivA— Santiago Ponzinibbio (@SPonzinibbioMMA) January 10, 2019
Quit drink man... you were the one that run from usman not me— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 10, 2019
I can still beat your ass if I’m drunk you diva. #MalbecMan. When do you wanna do this, you better not accept another fight after all this flirting.— Santiago Ponzinibbio (@SPonzinibbioMMA) January 10, 2019
You'll look worse than this once I'm finished with you @MikeChandlerMMA #chandralone. Piece of shit. There'll be a big price for everything you've said and rearranging your face will be just the beginning. April 13th. pic.twitter.com/7hK6asozbA— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) January 9, 2019
Wee met a few years ago on @invictafc now we will meet in the @ufc octagon. It’s a great honor for me that I can fight one of my idols— KarolinaKowalkiewicz (@KarolinaMMA) January 9, 2019
March 30th 2019 Philadelphia!!!
Let’s go baby!!! #ufc #love #my #job #Philadelphia #stt #kk pic.twitter.com/d1rYv78WOS
Tony is “weird flex but okay” made into a person.
“Current Mood” Fight Of The Year 2018 #snapintuit x SnapJitsu™️ pic.twitter.com/8piYftYYxU— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) January 10, 2019
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Joey got the official “cured” call today. No more cancer talk. No more neuroblastoma. This wasn’t a surprise... but it was still great to hear. What was REALLY good to hear was that there was a chemo drug he took that could potentially be bad for his heart long term... and that there had been a more recent study on the drug and he is way outside the window or having any issues pop up from that. Definitely a great day.
Georges new diet sounds awful.
Holiday parties are over! pic.twitter.com/Rrpc3mhPGf— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) January 10, 2019
Enfusion: "Can I copy your homework?"— Andreas M. Georgiou (@andremgeorgiou) January 8, 2019
UFC: "Yeah just change it up a bit so it doesn't look obvious you copied"
Enfusion: "Ok..." pic.twitter.com/8uiPNPuGlS
Got myself TF to nature #piratelife #ARRitsthesea #alphacatzingano #catzingano #teamalphacat #acz @ufc pic.twitter.com/gmLtVDJw0B— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) January 9, 2019
Charles Oliveira (25-8, 1 NC) vs. David Teymur (8-1); UFC Fortalexa, Feb. 2.
Sinead Kavanagh (5-3) vs. Olga Rubin (5-0); Bellator 217, Feb. 23.
Walter Gahadza (17-3) vs. Ruben Crawford (16-3); Bellator 217, Feb. 23.
Richie Smullen (3-1-1) vs. Adam Gustab (3-3); Bellator 217, Feb. 23.
Richard Kiely (2-1) vs. Mikael Bucher (3-4); Bellator 217, Feb. 23.
John Redmond (7-13) vs. George Tokkos (4-0); Bellator 217, Feb. 23.
Polyana Viana (10-2) vs. Hannah Cifers (8-3); UFC 235, March 2.
Michelle Waterson (16-6) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-3); UFC Philadelphia, March 30.
Rose Namajunas (8-3) vs. Jessica Andrade (19-6); UFC 237, May 11.
At the end of all this, if you disregard his record completely, Chael might end up with the most impressive resume of opponents in MMA history. Just littered with Hall of Famers.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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