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 heās disappointed with Jonesā outburst and expected a little more from the new universally recognized 205lb world number one.
āJon Jones says all I did throughout my career was talk about money. But I wanna say to him, āDude, the only reason you get to drive around in a Bentley is because I battled for that s**t!ā Thatās what I left for him. Thatās why I canāt understand why he said what he did about me. And Iām not going to just say he was misquoted, because I read the whole conversation, but I think it was just hatred, you know.
āWhen everybody started calling him a p**sy for not taking the fight with Sonnen, I was the first fighter who stood up and said, āyou donāt know the whole truth behind this thing. Youāve got to make the right decision for yourself, as this is a business.ā I supported him.Ā
āThen he comes out and starts saying all I talked about was money and saying heās nothing like me at all, basically being very disrespectful towards me. Itās not like I donāt like the guy or anything. I was just like, āWow, is that the way he wants to go? Thatās too bad.ā I was just so disappointed.ā
A self-confessed Jon Jones fan, before āBonesā 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 ā a fighter Tito rates above all others right now.
āA super-fight between Jon and Junior makes sense, and that could possibly happen. But then, youāre talking about a champion who wonāt even take a fight at two weeks notice, so itās impossible to know what heās thinking about. Itās hard to know what another fighter is thinking, you know, ācos weāre all completely different animals. I canāt even count how many times Iāve fought a guy who I wasnāt scheduled to fight, when someone has come in just two weeks.
āThroughout my whole career I was presented with fights like that, but I just stepped in and I fought. Dana needed me to fight, so Iād always accept the fight and then ask, āSo, who is he?ā āPatrick Cote? Cool, Iāll fight himā I was supposed to be fighting Mark Coleman, Mark Coleman pulls out, āWho am I fighting? Forrest Griffin, cool, Iāll fight him.ā I always stepped up. Iād put so much work into the camp that I wanted to fight. I didnāt care who it was, I was confident enough in myself to beat any of these guys.ā
Ortiz was shocked then, when Jones turned down the Chael Sonnen replacement match last month? āNo, actually, it didnāt shock me, as it was a business decision,ā Tito says. āBut itās the wrong way to represent the company, after all heās the champ. And when you give him someone like Chael Sonnen, someone he should walk right through, come onā¦
āOkay, itās a lose-lose situation because Chael just lost and if you beat him its like, āWell you were supposed to beat him.ā But youāre saving the company, and youāll get big kudos for it. I didnāt get kudos for it because I cancelled it out with the trash I was giving them, butā¦ā
Talking of super-fights, Ortiz is also quick to fire out a serious warning regarding another possible match-up featuring one of his āfavouriteā 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. āI hope Georges doesnāt suffer the same problems I did, I really hope he comes back and picks up where he left off as heās an awesome guy,ā Tito adds.
āAlthough, I hear thereās a fight with Anderson Silva in the works too, which is a bad mistake on Georgesā part. Anderson is way to big for himā¦ Whatās Georges, like five-ten and 185b? And heās fighting a guy thatās coming down from 217lb and six-three ā come on! He doesnāt need that fight, thatās for sure.ā
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 Peopleās 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 āHuntington Beach Bad Boy.ā
Following the 2010 Chuck Liddell Icon Issue, and last yearās Randy Couture special, the 2012 Tito Ortiz: Peopleās 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
- Font Size
- Reading Mode