Even after announcing his retirement in 2017, Tito Ortiz is seemingly unable to get himself away from the fight game. The 43-year-old UFC Hall-of-Famer is currently scheduled for his third fight against fellow legend Chuck Liddell this weekend.
Whatever the result of the upcoming fight may be, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” intends to keep himself involved in the industry. In an exclusive interview with MMAFighting.com’s Marc Raimondi, Ortiz bared his plans to enter fight promotion sometime in the future.
“It’s just one of things where if we can build and mold fighters the right way, we can make Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, Phil Baroni,” Ortiz said. “Those guys are all my friends. We helped make that happen.
“Of course you’ve got to win fights and you’ve got to make a character behind yourself, but that’s what makes other guys become characters.”
For Ortiz, the benchmark fighter to build is still UFC superstar Conor McGregor. However, he intends to veer away from the promotion methods of his former company.
“You look at Conor McGregor, one of the best ever — I will give him, hands down, he is the best trash talker ever aside from Muhammad Ali — that kid is on fire,” said Ortiz, who credits himself for the trademark icicle design on Liddell’s fight shorts. “That kid knows what he’s doing.
“[I want to] build guys like that and give back to them a piece of the revenue. Not only just the pay-per-view, but merchandise. Not only the merchandising, but the gate. Not only the gate but sponsorships, where they’re not only having one sponsor — Reebok — it is whatever sponsor they choose. They’re able to pick their own personality, their own character.”
Ortiz and Liddell will square of on Saturday, November 24th at the Forum in Inglewood, California.