Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz recently spoke with Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri about his fight this Saturday against Alberto Del Rio for Combate Americas' debut pay-per-view in Hidalgo, Texas.
Ortiz took some time to describe his training regimen that he started back on the 4th of July, and he's confident it will put him in peak physical shape to battle Del Rio. Tito has also been spending some time at a local college and sparring with their amateur wrestlers.
"[I feel] really, really good. I just finished up week fifteen and it's been - I've got to knock on wood really quick, and it's been pretty much worry-free. I've been putting in some really serious work and I started right after the 4th of July," Ortiz said. "I haven't really stopped; there's been a couple days here and there that I've been able to take off because I started my camp so early. But I learned before this last fight that let's get in shape for the fight and let's not get in shape during the fight, ya know?
"Having a pre-camp actually helps because my shape is phenomenal and I'm almost ready for war. I'm at 90% right now, I've got three-and-a-half more weeks until I can go and chill, where I'm not going so hard," Tito continued. "But I've mostly just been cutting the weight and keeping my tools sharp, but camp has been good. I've been wrestling with the kids at that junior college right there by my house - they're nineteen, twenty year old kids who rank in the state at my weight class, who are really, really tough. Of course I've been sparring with my partners... I've been training four times a day, five times a week, twice on Saturdays, and then I get to take off my Sundays."
Ortiz had plenty of good things to say about his upcoming opponent, Del Rio. Being a big WWE fan, Tito knows that Alberto favored certain throws and submission moves in WWE that he has now carried over into his training with Ryan Bader.
"I think his greco-roman wrestling [is impressive]; I watch his throws, I watch his submissions and that's something I've got to watch out for. Striking is something that's not in his forte, which has been one of my strengths over the last 6 or 7 years, my striking," Ortiz said. "And my submissions have gotten better also, so, I think he bit off a little more than he can chew for this fight. But I've got to stay focused like I have over the last fourteen and a half weeks, I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing, continue grinding on the stone and sharpening my tools, and getting ready for this fight. Alberto's just a bigger guy; he's bigger than I expected. When we did the face-off, I was like, 'Wow, this dude is a really big guy.'
"I've watched his wrestling and I've watched him move around with Ryan Bader, who's the light heavyweight world champion for Bellator," Ortiz continued. "He's training with some great guys if he's actually in with Ryan Bader, he's doing the right stuff with the right guys. But let's see if that can really portray in the octagon - or, excuse me, in the cage when he fights me. I'm not worried about what he can bring to me, he just needs to worry about what I'm going to do. I know what I'm going to do, I know exactly what I'm going to do."
Ortiz plans to put the pressure on quick and unrelenting, and he has even claimed that he'll donate to a charity of Alberto's choosing if he's able to make it past the first round of their fight.
"I'm going to be vicious, and be the the first to start off, and the first to push the pressure and he ain't never had pressure like he's going to have when he goes against me... When it comes down to it, I will kick and punch, and I will wrestle, and I will do submissions, and I will do ground and pound. I will bring this fight to where I want it to be so that I can get my hand raised," Tito said. "I think I'll just make it interesting for those first five minutes and then try to get him out by the first round."
Del Rio and Tito Ortiz have both agreed to place their respective championships on the line in this bout, Del Rio's being a copy of his WWE World Heavyweight Championship and Ortiz's being his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship belt. Tito revealed that he's the person who first came up with this idea. Both the child in his heart and the children he has back at home are hoping Tito brings back that WWE title.
"I came up with the idea [to put the two belts on the line] because you've got to understand, I've got into wrestling in high school because of WWF, which is WWE now. I wanted to be a professional wrestler; I've always wanted to be a professional wrestler!" Tito exclaimed. "I walked into wrestling in high school and I was like, 'Where's the ring at?' They're like, 'No, no, no, no, no, this is a different type of wrestling. This is amateur wrestling, this is the wrestling you see in the Olympics, this is the wrestling you see in college and high school. This is real wrestling. I started wrestling my Freshman year and I was still a WWE fan, mostly of the likes of Hulk Hogan, Dwayne Johnson 'The Rock', 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, Tito Santana, all the way up to now with Braun Strowman, Brock Lesnar, all these guys that compete now, I'm still a fan of it.
"That kid in my mind is like, what if you were ever a WWE world heavyweight champion? The question has always been in my mind, and now here's someone who's been a WWE champion," Tito continued. "I was a 5-time, defending, light UFC Champion so let's put our belts on the line. We worked our butts off to get those belts, we have the right to do what we want with those belts. And I would like to add that belt to my mantle. I think my kids would love it too because my kids are a huge fans of WWE, and it's just a good sell! I think it made a lot of sense and he was in for it, I'm in for it, people in America and the fans are all about it. So, I would love to be a WWE heavyweight world champ or at least have the belt, and have the recognition that you beat someone who was the champion. I'm going to do that on December 7th."
Ortiz will face Del Rio in the main event of Combate Americas' debut pay-per-view this Saturday, December 7th at Payne Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. Ortiz's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recen episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post.