Tito Ortiz: “I Accept Mike Tyson’s Challenge”

By Darren
Tito Ortiz: “I Accept Mike Tyson’s Challenge”

Tito Ortiz has his detractors but he is one of MMA’s most popular figures. His longevity also deserves respect, because he’s still going strong at the age of 45. Alongside Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, he was one of the sport’s early stars. A former UFC light-heavyweight champion, his record deserves respect.

However, if Ortiz is to be believed then another wild fight is on the horizon. He claims that Mike Tyson’s representatives have been in touch and want to book a fight. In short, it would be Tyson’s first fight since 2005. The 53-year-old is the most revered former heavyweight champion alive today.

Ortiz has a history with older retired fighters. He famously KOed a washed-up Chuck Liddell a couple of years ago. Only time will tell if it actually happens but fans are already excited.

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports

Opportunity

Make no mistake, Tyson is back in training and is in phenomenal shape. However, whether a commission clears him to fight is a different story. But Ortiz sees this as the opportunity of his life. He’s already one of the sport’s wealthiest fighters but this would be next level. A Tyson return would be absolutely massive. Tito told TMZ Sports:

“I was watching Mike Tyson hit pads with one of my old trainers Rafael Cordeiro. And Tyson looked like the old Tyson, fast and speed and powerful. I was like, ‘Wow, Tyson’s going to make a comeback?’ All of a sudden two days later I get a phone call and someone started asking me, ‘What do you think about fighting Mike Tyson?’ I was like, ‘Really?’ This is the opportunity of my life. I’m in.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Excited

Ortiz says that his activity should make him a favorite. He does have a point, as he has competed as recently as last year. He says he isn’t sure what sport it will be but we can answer that for him. It would be boxing. There is more chance of Khabib sending Conor McGregor a Christmas card than Tyson doing MMA. He said:

“I’m not sure if it’s going to be MMA or boxing yet. I haven’t even got that far. I think that we both have to be cleared by the athletic commissions. But, either or, I’ve been boxing for 20 years and my boxing skills have gotten better and better. I mean they may not be at the same level of Tyson, but has Tyson been punched in the face in the last 15 years? No he hasn’t. I have and I’ve been able to subdue everyone I’ve competed against in the last few years.” 

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Wanderlei

However, BKFC are also in the mix. They are ready to up their $20 million offer in a bid to entice Tyson to fight. BKFC President Dave Feldman wants Tyson to fight Wanderlei Silva under bare-knuckle rules. That would be an obscene match-up and we’re not sure how we feel about it. Feldman said he’s not interested in Ortiz because it would sell less. He said:

“I didn’t offer because I don’t know that it really draws, I think a Wanderlei Silva, someone of that nature. No matter how old Silva gets, he’s dangerous, and I think that would be an intriguing matchup. Something like that, but I don’t actually have anything in mind right now.” 

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