Tito Ortiz believes he deserves not only an apology but a pretty big thank you from current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. The star of the Fighters Only 2012 Icon Issue has hit back after Jones criticized Ortiz in an interview last month.
Ortiz, who quit the Octagon this summer after his final swansong appearance against Forrest Griffin at UFC 148, says heâs disappointed with Jonesâ outburst and expected a little more from the new universally recognized 205lb world number one.
âJon Jones says all I did throughout my career was talk about money. But I wanna say to him, âDude, the only reason you get to drive around in a Bentley is because I battled for that s**t!â Thatâs what I left for him. Thatâs why I canât understand why he said what he did about me. And Iâm not going to just say he was misquoted, because I read the whole conversation, but I think it was just hatred, you know.
âWhen everybody started calling him a p**sy for not taking the fight with Sonnen, I was the first fighter who stood up and said, âyou donât know the whole truth behind this thing. Youâve got to make the right decision for yourself, as this is a business.â I supported him.Â
âThen he comes out and starts saying all I talked about was money and saying heâs nothing like me at all, basically being very disrespectful towards me. Itâs not like I donât like the guy or anything. I was just like, âWow, is that the way he wants to go? Thatâs too bad.â I was just so disappointed.â
A self-confessed Jon Jones fan, before âBonesâ opened his mouth at least, Tito expects even bigger things for the current owner of his former title belt in the future. Although, he quickly pours water over the prospect of a future super-fight with heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos â a fighter Tito rates above all others right now.
âA super-fight between Jon and Junior makes sense, and that could possibly happen. But then, youâre talking about a champion who wonât even take a fight at two weeks notice, so itâs impossible to know what heâs thinking about. Itâs hard to know what another fighter is thinking, you know, âcos weâre all completely different animals. I canât even count how many times Iâve fought a guy who I wasnât scheduled to fight, when someone has come in just two weeks.
âThroughout my whole career I was presented with fights like that, but I just stepped in and I fought. Dana needed me to fight, so Iâd always accept the fight and then ask, âSo, who is he?â âPatrick Cote? Cool, Iâll fight himâ I was supposed to be fighting Mark Coleman, Mark Coleman pulls out, âWho am I fighting? Forrest Griffin, cool, Iâll fight him.â I always stepped up. Iâd put so much work into the camp that I wanted to fight. I didnât care who it was, I was confident enough in myself to beat any of these guys.â
Ortiz was shocked then, when Jones turned down the Chael Sonnen replacement match last month? âNo, actually, it didnât shock me, as it was a business decision,â Tito says. âBut itâs the wrong way to represent the company, after all heâs the champ. And when you give him someone like Chael Sonnen, someone he should walk right through, come onâŠ
âOkay, itâs a lose-lose situation because Chael just lost and if you beat him its like, âWell you were supposed to beat him.â But youâre saving the company, and youâll get big kudos for it. I didnât get kudos for it because I cancelled it out with the trash I was giving them, butâŠâ
Talking of super-fights, Ortiz is also quick to fire out a serious warning regarding another possible match-up featuring one of his âfavouriteâ current UFC champions. Along with Jones and Dos Santos, Ortiz remains a big Georges St Pierre fan and is keeping his fingers crossed that the welterweight champion manages to bounce back from surgery against Carlos Condit at UFC 154 in December.
However, should GSP rediscover his old form Ortiz is keen for him to resist the temptation of a highly-touted catchweight match-up with middleweight champion Anderson Silva. âI hope Georges doesnât suffer the same problems I did, I really hope he comes back and picks up where he left off as heâs an awesome guy,â Tito adds.
âAlthough, I hear thereâs a fight with Anderson Silva in the works too, which is a bad mistake on Georgesâ part. Anderson is way to big for himâŠ Whatâs Georges, like five-ten and 185b? And heâs fighting a guy thatâs coming down from 217lb and six-three â come on! He doesnât need that fight, thatâs for sure.â
TITO ORTIZ: FIGHTERS ONLY 2012 ICON ISSUE
Fighters Only publishes the third in its series of Icon issues this month, with the eagerly awaited worldwide release of Tito Ortiz: The Peopleâs Icon edition set to hit newsstands worldwide over the next few weeks.
FO spent three days with Tito and his family in Huntington Beach, sourcing never seen before images and tons of exclusive interviews for the issue, which charts the illustrious career of the former âHuntington Beach Bad Boy.â
Following the 2010 Chuck Liddell Icon Issue, and last yearâs Randy Couture special, the 2012 Tito Ortiz: Peopleâs Icon edition of Fighters Only is a must have for MMA fans the world over. Order yours today by visiting Magazines and Subscriptions on our website
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