by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Following Tito Ortiz’ draw with Rashad Evans at UFC 73, UFC President Dana White mentioned at the post-fight press conference that Tito and Rashad would most likely rematch at UFC 77 in Cincinnati, Ohio. If Tito has his way his next fight would take place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” spoke with MMAWeekly recently about competing again, training, Dana White and contract negotiations with the UFC.
“I want to get back in before the end of the year. I’d love for it to be in Vegas. That would be nice. I want to be home for once. When I fight in Sacramento, it doesn’t feel like home. Vegas is my home when I compete and that’s what I want to do,” Ortiz told MMAWeekly.
He added, “I plan on fighting Rashad, possibly in October or November, nothing’s 100% sure yet.”
A rematch with Rashad Evans is the fight Ortiz wants next. Tito said, “Last time we talked that was what it was going to be. Rashad said he wanted the fight and I said I wanted to fight. Dana [White] said he wanted the fight and I think all the fans want the fight, so I’m going to give Rashad his first loss and we’re going to see about it.”
Tito won’t get back to training full-time for a couple of weeks. He explained, “I’ve got about another week and a half, almost two weeks. I get two different injections into my back for my discs, some anti-inflammatory to make my discs a little bit smaller. I’ll take about a week to rehab it. It should be about two more weeks until I start training again and I look forward to my next fight.”
He continued, “I wouldn’t sign to fight if I couldn’t. That’s why the fight hasn’t been signed yet. I mean, I’m not going to sign something and not know when I’ll be 100% yet. I’ll make sure I’m going to be 100% no matter what for my fight and I’ll give it my best.”
Ortiz’ next fight is the final remaining bout on his current UFC contract. Asked if there’ve been any negotiations with the UFC for an extension or new contract, Ortiz replied, “I spoke with Lorenzo [Fertitta, co-owner of Zuffa]. They’re on vacation, actually I’m on vacation right this second, but I told him whenever I get back we’ll have a conversation, we’ll get it done, and it will be great.
“They’re going to look for my future and I want to look to my future also. I want to make sure I’m taken care of for the rest of my life. I’ve got a son to look after and I don’t want him to have to worry about money anymore because I’ve been fighting for a long-ass time. I’ve been fighting as long as [Randy] Couture.”
Questioned whether he’d like to get negotiations done before a rematch with Rashad Evans, Ortiz answered, “That would be nice. It would make everything a lot better. I won’t have to worry about win, lose, draw, or them being pissed afterward.
“I’d like to get it done and not have to worry about it, that way I can train as hard as I possibly can and not worry about Dana [White] screaming in my ear about something stupid, or talking sh** on me and telling me how stupid I am and saying how stupid my girlfriend is. It really is hard working with Dana. That’s why I took a step forward and started working with Lorenzo now.”
His negotiations are going through Lorenzo Fertitta and not Dana White according to Ortiz.
Further commenting on the UFC president, Ortiz said, “He feels like he’s two inches tall. He feels like a complete j**koff. For what he said about me and Jenna [Jameson] shows how smart he is as a person… Dana comes off in a negative way and you should never be like that.
“Jenna’s done nothing to him, ever. She’s always been completely nice to him and Dana being the superstar he and sits there and says how dumb we are, how dumb Tito Ortiz is, how dumb Jenna Jameson is. You know, it just shows how stupid he is, and that’s fine.
“I take it to heart and our friendship is lost, but oh well. Let business continue and I’ll continue my business no matter what. I’m going to be a fighter for the rest of my life, you know? I’ve been fighting since I was six years old; so it’s not going to change now… I’m going to be here a long time. I’ve got millions of fans that either love me or hate me. I do my job in the Octagon and Dana White isn’t getting in the Octagon fighting, so there’s a big difference.”