At 46 years old, UFC Hall-of-Famer Tito Ortiz decided to return to prizefighting by taking on the legendary Anderson Silva. The two are reportedly slated for a boxing match on September 11 as part of the Triller event headlined by Oscar De La Hoya and Vitor Belfort.
Part of the deal is for the bout to take place at a 195-pound catchweight, and it’s something the former Huntington Beach council member isn’t too happy about.
“There was a little bit of negotiation for his part. I had a lot of respect for the guy. And to do what he did for the contract, I kinda just… I lost respect for him,” Ortiz told TMZ Sports.
“He wants me down to 195. He’s fighting at 205 over six times in his career. And he wants me down to 195 so it shows that he’s afraid of my power.
“And people don’t really realize that I’m a pretty decent puncher, and I’ve gotten better over the last six years. I’ve gotten really good over the last three, four years. But hey, I’ll give it to him.
“I’ll make it, I’ll try. I’ll literally cut off my (leg) to make the weight. I’ll try. I’ve never missed weight in my whole career, but Anderson kind of pushed the limit of doing that. But once again, I lost respect for the guy. He’s one of the best in the world in mixed martial arts, but I have no respect for him.
“So it gives me a little more energy, gives me a little more aggressiveness during camp just to punch this guy’s face off.”
Ortiz recognizes his disadvantage on the technical aspect of the fight, but everything else, he feels he has the edge.
“I don’t disagree (Silva’s the better striker). Am I the toughest fighter? I’m way tougher than him, 100%. Am I gonna make it vicious, am I gonna make it just a blood fight? Yes. I’ll be training for a dogfight. That’s what it’s gonna be.”
With a little less than a month before the scheduled fight night, Ortiz is already pumped up and ready to go.
“I ain’t here for expedition…exhibition. I’m not here for a pitter-patter, do a dance. I’m here to fight. I’m a fighter. That’s what I do for a living.
“People say you’re all about the money. You know what? What do you do for free? Don’t do shit for free! I don’t work for free, I don’t come to this gym for free, I don’t get in the cage and fight for free. I don’t get in the ring and fight for free. And I’m starting it now.”
Ortiz last fought in December 2019 against WWE talent Alberto El Patron at a 210-pound catchweight. He won via first-round submission.
The 46-year-old Silva, meanwhile, made his boxing debut in June against Julio Cesar Chavez which he impressively won on the scorecards.