mma / News

Tito Ortiz Says He Was Stunned that Alberto Del Rio Wanted a Fight With Him, Doesn’t Intend to Retire Anytime Soon

October 27, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Tito Ortiz

MMAFighting recently interviewed former UFC light heavyweight champion TIto Ortiz ahead of his upcoming pay-per-view fight against former WWE Superstar Alberto El Patron (aka Alberto Del Rio), which will be held on December 7 for Combate Americas. Below are some highlights.

Tito Ortiz on not retiring after his last fight with Chuck Liddell: “I was not really into walking away [after the Chuck Liddell fight] just because I felt I still had so much more to go. I was 43 at the time ,and one of my friends, Randy Couture, I had to ask him what made him come back at 43 and win the heavyweight world title in the UFC. He said, ‘Tito, I wasn’t done, I had a lot more to do,’ and that’s all I needed to hear. I’m healthy. You’ve got to understand from 2003 to 2014, I’ve been riddled with injuries—back and neck and knees and I’ve had four neck surgeries, a back surgery, three knee surgeries—my body is finally reacting the right way when I was champ. I feel like that. I feel better now than when I was in my 30s because I’m able to put in hard work in the gym.”

Ortiz on fighting Del Rio: “I was stunned Alberto Del Rio wanted to fight me. I was like are you serious? Is this a joke? But Combate Americas put their money where their mouth is, and I’m excited. It’s going to be worth my time. I want to make sure I put on a great show for the fans and not give Alberto a chance to take advantage at all. I’m going to show how devastating I truly am, as I did against Chuck Liddell.”

Ortiz on how he’s not going anywhere and that he’s back: “I’m here – I’m back. I’m not going anywhere any time soon. The last fight against Chuck Liddell has reinvigorated my career completely. It made me want to compete. It made me want to get in the gym. It made me do what I love, and that’s compete. I love to compete. Just the reaction that I have from my body is amazing. I feel young. I’m 44 years old, but I feel 44 years young. This is just a stepping stone for something in the future. I would like to get a bigger fight, but this is a big fight for me.”

Ortiz on wanting to make a run for the Bellator MMA light heavyweight title: “I would like to chase after a world title after this. I know Ryan Bader is the heavyweight world champion and the light heavyweight world champion of Bellator. I would like to go after that light heavyweight belt and give him a chance at redemption when I beat him back in 2011.”