Friday, January 28, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Tito Ortiz On Stephan Bonnar, Floyd Mayweather/MMA, Dana White, TNA, PEDs

On his current relationship with Dana White:

“I have no relationship with Dana at all. The last time we spoke was — I don’t want to say hateful, it was just, for lack of better words, quiet. That’s it.”

On the rumors that Floyd Mayweather wants to get into MMA promotion:

“Of course there’s room. There’s lots of room for competition here. It’s just — you got to build the fighters. The fighters wanna go out and do the promotion and build themselves, you know? Getting in the cage and competing and fighting is one side of it, but doing the promotion side is a totally different animal and a lot of fighters got to learn how to do that the right way. They can’t be irritated by the fans, by the promotion or by the news, or anything like that. They gotta be willing to go outside the box instead of just the fight world and I’ve understood that since day one. I think that’s why my name is one of the biggest names in mixed-martial-arts, because I understood how to promote and do the promotion side of it. If [Floyd] Mayweather does come in and do that — I mean he has really deep pockets and he possibly can do that, but to compete with UFC and Bellator? It’ll be tough. Right now Bellator seems to be having this snowball effect where it’s just getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Scott Coker is doing an amazing job so far with the promotion and I’m very excited for the future of Bellator as a fight company.”

On if he feels there’s a rivalry brewing between UFC and Bellator:

“You know I really don’t think this is a competition or rivalry between Bellator and UFC. I think Bellator is just giving the fans what they want to see and that’s great fights for free, and amazing fights for free on Spike TV. Scott Coker is gonna build a foundation for the fans as he’s already starting here with the [Bellator] Fan Fest, by giving back. He’s giving Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, myself, [Muhammed] King Mo [Lawal], Michael Chandler — all these guys that really started this. I mean, you’re looking at the four fathers [laughs] — Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie, Randy Couture and myself. Guys who built this sport, mixed-martial-arts, into what it is today. I think Scott Coker is doing a smart idea of making sure he doesn’t forget about the true icons of this sport, and then the younger guys like Chandler, like Mo and the other guys who are up-and-comers, they’re gonna ride in on it and they’re gonna be glorious also.”

On his thoughts on performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of MMA:

“My whole situation on that has been negative since day one, since Forrest Griffin was allowed to do it during our fight — our last fight at UFC 148. It’s cheating. No matter which way you turn it, it’s cheating. If your body is not able to compete and train at the level with all these athletes, then you should step away and retire, or go to another sport and do something else. It’s a mental test, it’s a physical test, it’s a lot of things that your mind really has to push through those hard days of training, and when your body is not able to compete at that level — walk away. I’ve told myself the same thing — if I get to that level where I can’t do it anymore, I’m gonna walk away. But I’ve got a very strong mind and a very strong heart and I work really, really hard. I just try to dedicate myself to this job of mixed-martial-arts.”

On his goals after he retires from active MMA competition:

“Well yeah, winning a world title, you know? Being a two-time title holder in two different promotions, that would be a great goal to accomplish and that’s a goal that’s set in my mind until I accomplish that. Theatrically, I’d like to do some films, but things gotta happen at the right times and for the right reasons. Timing is everything, but right now my whole career is set strictly on fighting. I have three more fights ahead of me, I’m gonna compete in these three fights and win a world title, and that’s my goal.”

On his final comments:

“Of course all you guys can check me out on Twitter @TitoOrtiz and of course on November 15th, watch me beat down Stephan Bonnar — free on Spike TV.”

For more on Tito Ortiz, follow him on Twitter @TitoOrtiz. You can also check out his official website at TitoOrtiz.com. For more on Punishment Athletics, check out the official website at PunishmentAthletics.com. And for more on Bellator MMA, visit Bellator.com.

Make sure to check out Bellator 131: Tito vs. Bonnar live and free on Spike TV on Saturday, November 15, 2014 from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. If you can’t catch the event on television for whatever reason, make sure to stop by here at MMANews.com for live, round-by-round results coverage!

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