Tito Ortiz might be cutting more weight for a fight than ever before, but he’s looking forward to the advantage he’ll have if he hits his mark.
In Saturday’s Triller Fight Club “Legends 2” co-main event, Ortiz faces fellow former UFC champion Anderson Silva in an eight-round boxing bout that is to be contested at 195 pounds. That’s 10 pounds lighter than what Ortiz typically weighed in at as a UFC light heavyweight.
Ortiz, 46, has been open about his difficulties cutting the extra weight, adding that he had “lost respect” for Silva for negotiating a cruiserweight bout as opposed to fighting at 205 pounds, a weight that both men had competed at in the past.
However, at Thursday’s Legends 2 press conference, Ortiz said that he expects a lighter frame will actually help him in his fight with Silva.
“I’m no boxer,” Ortiz said. “I’m gonna come here, I’m gonna fight, I’m gonna try to knock him out. That’s my job. I’m gonna come in, I’m gonna punch him through his face. I’ve gotta touch him and I’ve got to touch him with numbers.
“He’s fast, he’s elusive, he moves well, but once again, me at 195, I’m gonna be a lot faster than I was at 205. A 10-pound difference, that makes a huge difference because I don’t have the muscle size I did when I was at 205. But once again, I’m here to kick ass, that’s my job. I’m here to entertain, that’s my job. I’ve been doing it for 24 years, I’m not stopping on Saturday night.”
For this legends matchup, Ortiz has focused primarily on cardio in addition to the hours spent focusing on just the art of boxing, a contrast to his days as a UFC star that required a far more varied training schedule.
Outside of those changes though, he plans to bring the same mentality that he brought to his previous fights.
“[This is] the first time in the last eight years that I’ve been able to do four miles a day for the last five weeks now, seven days a week,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been very focused on this fight. I’m getting to fight one of the best mixed martial artists to ever grace the octagon, Anderson Silva. To get down to 195 pounds is gonna be a challenge, but I take challenges in stride, every single competition I’ve always competed against.
“For this one, I’m not gonna change. I know what I need to do to beat Anderson. He’s 2-1 in boxing, I’m 0-0, but I just want to make a statement. I want to make sure that I make a statement on his face on Saturday night and do what I do best and punish people.”
As far as dealing with Silva’s famed balletic style goes, Ortiz sounded unimpressed with Silva’s showmanship, saying that, “Anderson’s gonna do his little magic, Wing Chun, Bruce Lee bullsh*t. I’m gonna come in to fight.”
Silva took the comments in stride, crediting his unique approach to martial arts with bringing him his success.
“I fight for my entire life and Wing Chun and Bruce Lee stuff saved my life the whole time inside the ring, inside the cage too,” Silva said. “I don’t like to talk too much. I like to go inside the ring and go inside the cage and do my job. I’m not here for disrespecting nobody. I grow up watching boxing and I trained in boxing for my entire life.
“I watched it, Roy Jones Jr., Mr. Holyfield, and the other fighters. I come here to do my job, how much I love this sport, how much I love combat fights, and I’m here to do my job.”