Live Audio Wrestling/Transcribed by Jeff Cain
‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy,’ Tito Ortiz, was a guest on Live Audio Wrestling last night following his appearance on Total Nonstop Action (TNA) as a referee for the ‘Rhino’ and Jeff Jarrett pro wrestling match. You can listen to the LAW every Sunday night at 8pm Pacific/11pm eastern at live audio wrestling.com
Along with pro wrestling Ortiz talked about his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) future, contract negotiations with the UFC, and more. Here’s what Tito had to say.
Live Audio Wrestling (LAW): Tito, how’s it going?
Tito Ortiz: Good my man. Tired. Long day. Got to see some awesome matches man. Got to be a part of one of the fastest growing wrestling programs around. These guys are doing a great job.
LAW: Absolutely. Did it throw you off a little bit, Tito, that you ended up being in there with someone different than you were supposed to, or did it not really matter?
Ortiz: It didn’t really matter. I mean I was still going to do my job no matter what. It was a really good time man. It was an education for me and I had a lot of fun being a part of it.
LAW: In what ways is it an education for Tito Ortiz? Explain that.
Ortiz: Just doing the reffing part of it. Making sure I call everything the right way. As I do it, it seems like I’m learning more and more. It’s fun man. It’s a lot, a lot of fun.
LAW: Is this something that you’re going to continue with? Are we going to see you more involved with pro wrestling than MMA?
Ortiz: No. Right now it’s just TNA, the people who run the company, they’ve been doing a really good job, and I thought I’d come out and just help out a little bit. They really take good care of me. It’s just take a little time off as you can say. With UFC and negotiations, and me possibly starting my own organization, it’s just a matter of time getting me back in an octagon. My love is fighting. That’s for sure.
LAW: You just mentioned you were in talks with the UFC. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Ortiz: Well pretty much it’s going down to negotiations right now. I talked to Joe Silva on the phone, and it just seems like a matter of time. As it gets closer and closer we’ll see what’s going to happen for Tito Ortiz in the future.
LAW: Has there been any talk of specific matches? Are you guys still trying to work out a contract? What’s the status?
Ortiz: Yeah. We’re working on a contract. It’s just the details man. The details that I’ve been holding out for. And making sure that if I’m going to compete, it’s going to be worth my while completely. I’m not getting any younger, so it’s just a matter of time until I get back in the octagon man.
LAW: You mentioned you were talking with Joe Silva ,who’s the match maker. What about Dana White because I’m sure Dana White, I don’t know, is he ready to bring Tito Ortiz back?
Ortiz: I don’t know. I guess so because they’ve been calling me for like the last two weeks at least once a day. And I finally answered their call, and had conversations with Joe Silva. I do not talk to Dana. There’s a lot of bad blood there I think. With Joe Silva, I mean, I’ve known Joe Silva back when he first started with the company. Joe Silva’s actually a very good match maker.
LAW: Have you and Joe talked any particular names or anything like that?
Ortiz: Well of course. Chuck Liddell right off the bat. I mean that’s something that I really, really wanted. It just comes down to the contract and getting what I want.
LAW: What about this deal that came across your table for Pride. We heard they offered you a six fight contract. What happened in that scenario Tito?
Ortiz: You know what? It just didn’t interest me that much. Six fights with them seemed like too long of a time for me. This sport is growing so quick that you just never know what the next step is going to be. I will fight in the States though man. I love fighting live for my fans and going over to Japan, it would be tape delayed. It really comes down to everything I want in a contract. I’m trying to make a stand for a lot of these fighters, and a lot of them don’t understand. I’m trying to make them more money. If I make more money they’re going to make more money in the long run.
LAW: Normally doesn’t Pride pay much better money than the UFC anyways?
Ortiz: No. No. It’s the same money. It’s the same money across the board.
LAW: It is?
LAW: Is that all it was with the Pride deal, the money didn’t appeal to you, or were there other things?
Ortiz: There was a lot of other things. There was a lot of, you know, the details of the contract…It seemed like, in the long run, the UFC would be the best idea or start my own organization. Pride, I love the rules of Pride. Knees on the ground are awesome. When I first started Ultimate Fighting we were allowed to knee on the ground. That’s something that interests me. Within the next couple of months I’ll find out what I’m going to be doing for sure.
LAW: What’s happening with your own organization? I mean that must be an incredible task to try to start up your own group.
Ortiz: We started it once before, the WFA (World Fighting Alliance), and we’re going to restart it again. I did as well as I did for the UFC. Why can’t I do it for another company? The biggest thing of all is the fans. The fans are the ones who are die-hard and by the pay-per-view and gives the support that makes me fight better and better each time.
LAW: Speaking of the fans, one of the big arguments right now in pro wrestling because UFC is starting to get known to the general public. Now they’ve got the big shows on Spike TV in the place of WWE product. I’m always wondering because a lot of fighters in MMA seem to think that the wrestling fans and the MMA fans aren’t really in the same camp. How do you feel about that?
Ortiz: I completely differ from that one because I was a huge wrestling fan before I even started fighting. From my side of it, it just seems like they like to see the reality, and if they want to see the entertainment side of it, they watch pro wrestling. If they want to see reality they’re going to watch Mixed Martial Arts.
LAW: Has there been any attempts to bring Ken Shamrock back in the world of pro wrestling? He was actually TNA’s very first champion, and with you there now certainly generate some interest.
Ortiz: Yeah. I don’t know if I want to talk about that. I don’t know. You’re just going to have to see what happens in the future man. Stay tuned.
LAW: Did you hear about Shamrock’s fight with Sakuraba?
Ortiz: Yeah I heard about it. I heard it was stopped early.
LAW: It sounded like he knocked Shamrock out two minutes into the first round.
Ortiz: That’s what I heard, but I heard it was stopped prematurely also.
LAW: Oh really?
Ortiz: Yeah. That’s another thing about Pride man. They call the matches the way they want them man. It’s pretty shady sometimes. Sometimes guys like Ricco Rodriguez when he fought Nogueira. I thought he beat him, and they gave the match to Nogueira. A lot of things like that doesn’t happen in UFC and other organizations. And I see it happen in Pride all the time. If you fight a Japanese fighter, you’ve got to knock him out or submit him. That’s the only way you’re going to win.
LAW: Tito I want to ask one quick question before we go. Now that you’ve had some time around professional wrestlers, and of course your reputation from MMA, has there been any run-ins with wrestlers? Has there been any wrestlers that say hey you’re not so tough or anything like that?
Ortiz: No. Not at all. Actually they’re all on my good side. It seems like they’ve all watched my fights before…I’ve always been a huge wrestling fan. I respect them. They respect me. That’s the way it goes.
LAW: So do we see more of Tito Ortiz with TNA?
Ortiz: There is a possibility. Like I said, they treat me really good and it’s fun. I’m a huge fan of professional wrestling. You’ve got to understand that for one. Everybody stay tuned. And maybe in the future, I just might be doing it again.
LAW: Tito, thanks so much for joining us.
Ortiz: Thanks very much man. I want to thank all of my fans out there too. Of course you can go on the world wide web and go to TitoOrtiz.com and check out info. And of course Christmas is coming about. Go to www.punishmentathletics.com, it’s my clothing company. Get gear for the whole family for Christmas time.