Tito Ortiz has a lot going on in his life. His longtime companion Jenna Jameson gave birth to twins in May and if you don’t think there have been plenty of sleepless nights-well, then you don’t have kids. But, despite being an active and loving parent, he has other things on his mind.
“Right now, all I think about is Forrest Griffin,” the Huntington Beach Bad Boy told Heavy.com. “That’s all I’ve been training, all I’ve been eating sleeping, watching. That’s it. That’s all I care about.”
After taking a year off, Ortiz and long time friend turned nemesis, UFC President Dana White, announced they had made amends. The UFC’s first Zuffa-era superstar was coming back to the company that he had helped establish as MMA’s leading brand.
Tito had struggled in recent years. The most dominant light heavyweight champion of all-time hadn’t won a fight since 2006, a bad back robbing him of explosiveness and the ability to train maniacally. It was his work-ethic that had taken him to the top. When that was taken away, Ortiz was just another wrestler. Back surgery brought him his burst back and for the first time in a long time, Ortiz says he’s back in peak condition.
“I’m in shape to go five six minute rounds with thirty seconds of rest,” Ortiz said. “Three five-minute rounds with a minute of rest in between? I don’t know-I think I might have the upper hand.”
Most fighters are loathe to give away the game plan before a fight. With Tito Ortiz, it’s never really been much of a secret. For twelve years he’s been taking people down and dropping elbows and punches until they can’t stand up anymore. Nothing has changed.
“Let’s see if Forrest can take the pounding,” Ortiz said, a bit of his old swagger coming back. “Let’s see if he can defend the shot when he kicks. Because every time he kicks he’s going to get taken down. A lot of fighters don’t take advantage of that. When they see Forrest kick they try to check all the kicks. To hell with that. I’m putting him on his back and it’s back to the old Tito Ortiz man. I might ground and pound. It’s lethal. The first round it will be lethal. If he survives, the second round will be the same thing. If he lasts through that, the third round will be the same thing. They’ll be carrying him out on a stretcher.”
Ortiz and Griffin meet in the main event at UFC 106, Saturday night only on Pay Per View.