by Damon Martin
Still one of the most talked about and most recognizable names in mixed martial arts, Tito Ortiz is handling his business these days, being seen in movies and video, and still planning a return to fighting in the near future. Tito has been approached by more than one organization hoping to retain his star power and showcasing him as one of the top fighters in the world today.
Most recently Pride threw its proverbial hat into the ring when they stepped to the table and offered “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” a contract to fight in Japan. Nothing has been signed yet, and Tito is still reviewing the contract and deciding what is best for him.
“Well, I got the contract from Pride, I looked at it and it was pretty much the same thing that the UFC was offering. But that was the first offer they gave so my counter offer is going to come and see if they like it. I just want to get what’s best for myself. The UFC showed interest in me competing again. I talked to Joe Silva a few days ago and he showed interest. Don King is showing huge interest in me. The Klitchko brothers are showing huge interest. It’s all about me and seeing what the best business opportunity will be for myself and for the future. It’s not about a 1 or 2 or 3 fight deal, it’s got to be something for my career, until I retire and become a promoter myself. I just want the best deal, the highest offer I can get for myself. I’m going to stand my ground for a great reason.” Tito said when he spoke to MMAWeekly
Never one to sit back and wait for something to happen, Ortiz is still working to keep his name out there, working in movies including the most recent film in “The Crow” franchise, released on DVD a couple of months ago. Tito is now heading out to film a new movie in Turkey.
“I leave tomorrow to go to Turkey, I’m doing a movie with Billy Zane and it’s going to be a great film. I’ve got a really great part and I leave tomorrow morning and I’ll be gone for about a week and a half, in Istanbul, Turkey and I’ve never been there before. I’m doing the movie stuff; it may be an opportunity for me for the future. I mean when I’m 37, 38, 39, 40, I don’t want to be competing like the rest of these guys at that age. I’ve been doing this since I was 22, and I want to make sure that I’ll be able to play catch with my son when I’m 40 years old and not have my body beat up. I’ve had some injuries before, that could really hurt me when I get older.” Tito commented about his latest movie project and his immediate future.
Tito can also be seen in a music video for the band Seether and their song “The Truth.” Seether is best known for their song “Broken” which featured Amy Lee of the band Evanescence and apparently the guys from the South African based band were vocal in getting Tito to appear in their video.
“They (Seether) got in touch with me. The band is really huge fans of mine. One of my friends, Kelly, was the fight coordinator for it. I came in on the day of the shoot, we set for the fight and they were like let’s put some different stuff in it. I did some good slams and we got to put some MMA in it. I really like the video and I think it’s going to be on MTV in the next couple of weeks, I believe so. It was really, really cool stuff…it was fun.”
Beyond working in front of the cameras, Tito is still focused on training mixed martial arts with his friends and teammates. Included in that list is returning Pride star, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and MTV True Life star, Kit Cope, both of whom are training for upcoming fights.
“I’ve been training with Rampage for the last month now, he’s looking really, really sharp. He took it to me the one day in training. He took me down a couple times; he never takes me down. Rampage is looking tough as hell. Kit actually just went to Big Bear for the month for training. I’m going out of town for a week and then I’ll be up there in Big Bear. I’m going to continue to help Rampage; I think I’m going to bring him to Big Bear. These guys know what it takes to be a fighter, but you’ve got to know what it takes to bring the best out of them. I’ve been there, I’ve been on the lows, I’ve been on the highs, and I think I bring the best out of every one of those fighters.”
“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” is still arguably the most well known mixed martial arts athlete the sport has ever produced and he’s proud of all that he’s accomplished as a fighter, making a place for himself as well as promoting MMA. Hard work and determination helped to put Tito where he’s at today and he continues to strive to succeed.
“I worked my butt off to get where I am. I was the first fighter to come out with my own clothing company. I was the first fighter to have the fighter cards. I did a lot of promotion stuff that I thought would help me in the long run. A lot of these fighters only care about fighting, getting on TV. It’s not all about being famous. I mean the kids that look up to me, even the adults that look up to me that shows off my hard work and dedication. I mean when someone says, ‘Man, you changed my life, you’ve been an inspiration to me.’ I mean that, not being a role model, I mean I make mistakes like everyone else, but being an inspiration for people to learn from me, shows that the hard work pays off. Where my name is right now is not even close to where it’s going to be. I’ve got more work to do”
For the fans of Tito Ortiz, it looks like he won’t be fighting again this year, but he is still working to put together the best fight that he can get and make his official return to MMA. When asked about his immediate fight future, Ortiz gave a timeline for everyone to look forward to seeing him fight again.
“Probably next year, we’re looking at January. I was looking to fight in October, but I got a couple of these movie things going on right now. I’ve got to pay some bills, but I’ve been training since 4th of July, my weight’s down where I want it to be, I’m in great shape. I mean right now it’s just fine tuning my tools and look to fight in January.”
Tito Ortiz will be filming his appearance in a new movie this week and will soon return to the U.S. to help his team prepare for their upcoming fights.