Tito Ortiz is on the mend, but takes time to call out Forrest Griffin.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was scheduled to fight in the main event of UFC Fight Night 24 in Seattle on March 26 against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, but a cut and concussion suffered in training forced him out of the bout.
It was supposed to be his opportunity to prove he is still a force in the 205-pound division, but that door closed the moment the cut opened up.
“When I had to pull out of this fight because of the stitches in my face and my concussion, I was really, really bummed,” Ortiz told Heavy.com on Tuesday. “I had put in three months of hard training in this. Taking three weeks to not spar and not wrestle wasn’t something I was able to do against Rogerio Nogueira. I had to pull out, but it sucked.”
“Nogueira is a tough, tough opponent, and I can’t come at him at 80 percent. I have to make sure I’m 100 percent. I’ve fought so many guys before not 100 percent, and I’m just not going to take that chance anymore,” added Ortiz.
The 36-year old fighter is on the mend, but expects to be back to hard training “in a couple of weeks.”
“The concussion is almost, pretty much gone. Last night I did some pretty hard cardio, pushed myself hard enough that I threw up, so maybe the concussion’s not completely gone. I had a little bit of a headache still today. If I don’t push it, by the end of the week to the middle of next week I should be 100 percent as long as I don’t push myself too hard too fast,” he explained.
“The cut is almost healed. It’s still a little tender. All the stitches aren’t gone yet, so I still feel them in there.”
Ryan Bader has recently said he’d like to fight Ortiz, but the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has his sights set on a familiar foe.
“I didn’t hear anything about that at all,” said Ortiz about Bader’s wishes. “I was kind of focusing on some of the things that Forrest Griffin was saying about me. He’s said a lot of bad things about me, and I take that to heart when people talk trash on me. That means they want to fight me.”
Ortiz wants to be back in the Octagon at least by May or June, and states his case for why it should be against Griffin.
“Forrest just beat Rich Franklin, who beat Chuck Liddell that I was supposed to fight after the eleventh season (of The Ultimate Fighter),” said Ortiz. “I won one against Forrest and he’s won one against me, so let’s do a trilogy.”
“I won the first one. He won the second one. Let’s do a third and see who is the best.”
Griffin recently posted criticisms of Ortiz on his Twitter account and the two briefly engaged in a sparring match of tweets.
Ortiz said the social media attack by Griffin came “out of the blue.”
“I thought me and Forrest were cool, but I guess not. I guess he just wants to take another beating, so Dana (White), get it done. Let’s do it.”