Tito Ortiz last week launched part one of a three-part blog for ESPN “in his own words.”
The theme of his debut post is, despite all the talk that “the Huntington Beach Bad Boy” is washed up, he's still competing with the best opponents the UFC can throw at him.
Next will be Ryan Bader at UFC 132 on July 2.
After the jump is Ortiz's roundup of some of the characters–friend and foe–he has encountered over his more than 14 years fighting in the octagon.
“I am not getting dominated. I'm not getting knocked
out like Liddell was late in his career. I am still competitive with the
very best guys in the division and haven't taken a step down in
competition since the day I lost my belt in 2003.”
“My last fight, against Matt Hamill in October, I lost. It was totally my bad; I didn't prepare for his takedowns because I
didn't think he'd be able to take me down. Real dumb, my bad, and I am
still pissed at myself.”
“I think Dana respected that I had the fire to say, 'Hell no, I don't
want to retire! I want to fight!' and argued that I should fight on.”
"I'm the Last of the Mohicans. Out of the fighters
who helped build the UFC from what it was in the 1990s to what it is now
in 2011, they're all gone except for me. Chuck Liddell has retired;
Randy Couture has retired. I'm the last man standing, and now everyone
thinks Ryan Bader is going to put me down, too. I don't want to go. I'm
not going to go. I am going to push the pace and win this fight July 2.
My back is right against wall. I'm coming out swinging.”
"I'm honest with myself, and when it is time, I will go. At 36, that day
when I will walk away is coming. It's coming soon; I know that and I've
come to accept that. But it is not yet. I know I could have all kinds of
wins if I was fighting different types of opponents, but I am fighting
the best opposition in the division.”