UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz may be 44 years old, but he still believes he’s got the tools to defeat UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Ortiz debuted at UFC 13 and fought nearly his entire career for the MMA juggernaut before leaving the promotion in 2012. His final few years with the UFC weren’t his best. An injury plagued Ortiz lost six of his final eight bouts in the Octagon.
Eventually returning to the cage under the Bellator banner, Ortiz is 4-1 in his post-UFC career. That includes a trilogy bout with Chuck Liddell, whom he exacted his revenge upon by knocking out “the Iceman” in the first round.
Ortiz is now set to fight again, but under the Combate Americas banner in the Latin focused promotion’s first pay-per-view. Ortiz will square off against former WWE champion Alberto Del Rio on Dec. 7 in Hidalgo, Texas.
Given the opportunity, however, Ortiz believes he could possibly beat the 32-year-old Jones.
“I think I can beat Jon Jones. I really do think I’ve got a good chance. If people say, ‘Oh, Tito, (expletive), you’re over the hill,’ whatever. Come to my camp. Come train with me. Come wrestle with me. Come do jiu-jitsu with me. Watch my weight training. Watch my biking and my stairs that I do. I push myself harder than I pushed myself through my whole career. I’m doing amazing. My mind is in the right place, my body is in the right place.”
Not to mention, Ortiz has had multiple surgeries, including the time since he left the UFC, that have helped to correct numerous health issues that hindered him in the waning years of his career in the Octagon.
With his improved health and his experience in the cage, Ortiz doesn’t guarantee he’d beat Jones, but he believes he knows how he could if given the opportunity. And he would most definitely take the opportunity if it were offered.
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“Come on, why wouldn’t I? Pressure, pressure, pressure, pressure, pressure. You stay in that angle, the outside reach of him, you’ve got problems with it. You can’t just sit there and play his game,” Ortiz said told TMZ Sports, though he doesn’t hold Jones in as high regard as he once did.
“If Jonny ‘Bones’ Jones could get his stuff together, he could be the best ever, but I mean, could have; not anymore,” Ortiz said. “He tarnished his career so many times, so much stuff that he did in and out of the cage. God, it bums me out because I love the guy. He was one of the best light heavyweights to ever grace the Octagon.”
Tito Ortiz believes he could beat UFC champ Jon Jones
(Courtesy of TMZSports)