UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz claims to have accepted a surprise offer to fight former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in a charity bout. The 45-year-old revealed the big news to TMZ Sports in an interview posted on Sunday.
“This is the opportunity of my life,” Ortiz said. “I’m in!”
Ortiz told TMZ Sports that he unexpectedly received a phone call from someone who offered him the fight and that Ortiz agreed to it without even knowing what kind of rules the exhibition bout would be.
Tyson has not yet confirmed or denied the fight, but judging by Ortiz’s demeanor in the interview with TMZ Sports, it appears the UFC star does believe the offer was legitimate and that it came from Tyson’s team.
Ortiz Challenged Tyson via Social Media Last Week
While Ortiz said he was surprised by the offer to face Tyson, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” did recently take to social media to call out Tyson for the fight.
In the caption of that Instagram post from last week, Ortiz wrote, “@MikeTyson — Legend Vs Legend on PPV! When are we doing it?”
Following that callout, Tyson was specifically asked about Ortiz’s challenge in a separate interview conducted by TMZ Sports.
“I don’t really know, but listen, anybody that’s willing to contribute to this charity, they’re welcome to come in and challenge me,” Tyson said. “I would be open for anyone.”
Moreover, Tyson revealed to the Young Money Radio Show on Saturday that he was nearing a deal to make his desired charity bout happen and that the names he was considering to fill the opponent slot would surprise people.
“You’re not going to believe the names when the names come out,” Tyson said.
Ortiz would certainly fit that description, and it doesn’t appear fans will have to wait long to find out if Tyson-Ortiz is going to happen.
“Sometime this week we’ll have the contract done,” Tyson added.
Ortiz Would Likely Be Big Underdog Against Tyson in Boxing Ring
Ortiz is a solid striker by MMA standards, but Tyson is one of the most feared punchers in boxing history.
Even at age 53, Tyson looks amazing throwing punches and appears to be in phenomenal shape.
That means if Tyson and Ortiz fight each other in a legitimate boxing exhibition, Ortiz will likely enter that bout a huge underdog.
Regardless, Ortiz told TMZ Sports that he was ready to rumble.
“I’m not sure if it’s gonna be MMA or boxing yet,” Ortiz said. “I haven’t got that far. I think we both got to be cleared with that by the commissions, that’s the biggest thing.”
Ortiz: ‘I’ve Been Boxing for 20 Years’
Ortiz believes in his ability to handle himself inside a boxing ring, even against a former heavyweight champ.
The UFC legend revealed he wasn’t worried about throwing hands with Tyson inside a boxing ring, and the former UFC light heavyweight champion said he also believes he has what it takes to beat up Tyson under any set of rules, even those that made the boxer famous.
“I’ve been boxing for 20 years, man, my boxing skills have gotten better and better,” Ortiz said. “I mean, they may not be at the same level as Tyson, but has Tyson been punched in the face in the last 10 years? No, he hasn’t. And I have been. And I’ve been able to subdue everyone I’ve competed against in the last four years.”
Ortiz scored a dominant first-round submission against Alberto El Patrón in his last fight at Combate Americas 51 in December.
Tyson hasn’t competed since 2005.
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