Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz still carries quite the history with him into the cage. This evening, Ortiz will bring his resume and past to Bellator.
Ortiz takes on current middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 120 in a non-title fight. It marks the first pay-per-view by the promotion and the debut for Ortiz with Bellator.
As he recovered from neck surgery, Ortiz heard an interesting challenge out of Shlemenko, a Russian who has won 50 fights in his career. He posted a video, challenging Ortiz for the pay-per-view.
And, despite an expected 30-plus pound weight difference, both sides agreed to the fight.
“When you’re famous, people want to be famous,” said Ortiz, during an interview with MMAjunkie.com Radio. “And if he wants to be famous, I’m going to make him famous (tonight). Because he’s going to beat his face up with my fists and my elbow.”
It’s been two years since Ortiz stepped inside the cage, as he retired following a loss to Forrest Griffin the weekend he was inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame. However, a short time later, he agreed to a new deal with Bellator and was signed to face Quinton “Rampage” Jackson last November before going down with the neck injury.
While approaching 40 years old, Ortiz maintains he wants to wear the world title belt again. Emanuel Newton is the Bellator 205-pound champion, and either Jackson or Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal is expected to face him next.
“My goal is to be a world champion again,” he said. “Whoever else they give me (I will fight).”
Nothing like female scorned. And the only way to make it worse? A female fighter.
Sarah Kaufman and Jessica Eye fought last year, with Eye getting her hand raised via decision. However, a few months later, the Texas Athletic Commission changed that decision to a no-contest after Eye failed the post-fight drug test.
The night of the bout, the result was hotly contested. The reversal only intensified things, as Eye and Kaufman went back-and-forth on Twitter.
Well, months later, and the two ladies are back at it, even bringing Miesha Tate into the fold.
Kaufman is trying to secure a fight with Tate for later this year. On the social media site recently, Eye was mentioned in a message along with Kaufman and Tate concerning a fight.
“I’ll fight however I already won against Sarah,” Eye responded.
Kaufman, a former Strikeforce female champion, responded by sending her followers to a link on Score That Fight that detailed Kaufman winning their exchange.
“So your so corny Sarah U didn’t win and just cause u find one article that favors (you). (Your) such a loser at heart.”
Tate, seemingly just an innocent bystander in the feud, interjected herself by posting, “great fight and you won Jess, let the haters hate!”
Kaufman replied with “interesting that this is what you respond to. You publicly call me out then seemingly run away.” Tate mentioned Kaufman as a potential opponent after her win over Liz Carmouche, and the Canadian has made it perfectly clear she is down.
Later, Kaufman went back after Eye, writing, “she is pretty quick to get heated. And she was the one who failed the drug test then lied.” Eye replied with, “your caddy person. I am sorry your so bored in life. You lack of class and your a has been champion who try to make herself relevant by start (expletive).”
At this point, the only way to settle this is to throw all three inside the Octagon and let them have at it.
Daniel Cormier believes Jon Jones could be the greatest heel the UFC has ever seen. If he wanted to.
Cormier, during a recent interview with MMAjunkie.com, explained that he believes the UFC light heavyweight champion could excel in a role like that of boxing great Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Meaning, when the fans boo, they are still in attendance and still putting down money for pay-per-view events.
“If I was Jon Jones, being that people seem to want to dislike him, I would go 100-percent Floyd Mayweather, Jr.,” Cormier said. “He wins all the time and people dislike him, but they always tune in to see him. People want to believe Jon’s not being 100-percent real with us. They’re thinking that we’re seeing kind of an act, so give them you. If they believe you’re a complete ass, then just be an ass.”
Cormier is set to face Dan Henderson next Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 173. A win would likely position him as the next contender after Jones meets Alexander Gustafsson sometime yet in 2014.
The former U.S. Olympic wrestler and frequent guest on FOX Sports’ MMA programming added that “They’ll watch to hope that you lose, but at the end of the day, you’ll still be winning. Because Floyd Mayweather makes $40 million every time he fights. At the end of the day, that is winning.”
Mayweather recently fought on a pay-per-view main event, bringing in over $30 million just in fight purse alone. He was successful, defeating Marco Maidana.
The future of Matt Brown is one that has been brought into the conversation on a daily basis since he scored his seventh straight victory recently by finishing Erick Silva.
Some view Brown as the next contender to the UFC welterweight title, while others feel he needs another win – or maybe two – before getting his crack at Johny Hendricks and the belt.
On Wednesday’s edition of “UFC Tonight,” Brown was brought up by analysts and hosts Chael Sonnen and Kenny Florian.
Currently, Hendricks is still recovering from bicep surgery that was needed after he won the title in a fight with Robbie Lawler. It was vacated when Georges St-Pierre decided to step away from MMA after defending it vs. Hendricks.
“I’d like to see him fight Nick Diaz,” Sonnen said. “I want to see someone fight Nick.”
Diaz, a former contender, remains retired. He announced his decision to leave the sport after a loss to St-Pierre, and the UFC has offered him a handful of chances to return – all of which he has said no to.
Florian went with another Top-10 fighter in deciding who Brown should face next, saying, “I’d like to see him fight Hector Lombard.
“He’s very exciting and has a lot of power,” Florian said. “Matt can’t be in a boring fight, but Hector is so explosive and so powerful. He’s a great contrast to the lanky Matt Brown.”
Lombard, a former Bellator champion, has gone 3-2 since signing with the UFC. He defeated Jake Shields in his most recent bout, scoring a decision over the former UFC title contender.
Bas Rutten is known more today for his announcing, but the Dutch fighter is a former UFC heavyweight champion who posted a 28-4-1 before retiring in 2006.
The current face of the UFC, Jon Jones, is working his way up the charts and into the history books following a seventh successful title defense over Glover Teixeira. But one thing “Bones” did in his win over Teixeira bothered Rutten so much that he is calling him a “dirty fighter.”
“Yes, he is a dirty fighter,” said Rutten, during an interview on Inside MMA. “He knows exactly what he is doing at any given time. His fighters were definitely in (Teixeira’s face). For a long time. He was constantly rubbing him in the face.
“Yeah, I’m sorry. I’d have to say, ‘Yes,’ (to Jones being dirty).”
UFC president Dana White initially agreed to an extent with Rutten, stating that the eye pokes were an issue. However, after re-watching the contest, White backtracked on his comments.
It’s doubtful that Jones cares too much with what Rutten has to say, as he posted a video on social media “crying” about getting poked in the eye following his recent win. He quickly took the video down off his Instagram account.
Jones is scheduled to return to action later this year against Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch of their 2013 decision that went to the champion.
Below is the complete segment with Rutten discussing Jones. He is joined by Miesha Tate on the program, who was serving as a guest co-anchor.