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Check out Tito Ortiz’s one-on-one interview with MMA Recap!

Posted by Levine Communications Office on September 26, 2012

Tito Ortiz – Jon Jones Should Be Thanking Me

Tito Ortiz is a huge reason why the sport of mixed martial arts is as popular as it is today. Alongside Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, Ortiz pushed the boundaries of the UFC and having some of the most memorable fights, some outside the cage. When he stood up to try and get a better pay day he faced the full force of the UFC’s marketing department and not in a good way. But while he was being blasted for his stubbornness in contract negotiations, that is what ultimately led him and several others to the pay they deserve.

Now, after fifteen years, Ortiz has retired from the sport and started the next chapter of his life. For many, the question of what to do once you retire is a daunting task to answer. But Ortiz isn’t walking away from the sport, instead he’s giving back to it. He plans to help the current generation of fighters not only become better inside the cage, but also outside.

Ortiz sat down with MMARecap to discuss his future, rehash some of the past and of course talk about the similarities that are being drawn between him and current light heavyweight champ Jon Jones.

You are now retired from fighting and you are now partnering in a promotion. Is there a part of it that’s going to be you coaching them as well?

No it’s not as a coach, but there is going to be a lot of opportunity for the guys to come in and train with me. I started my management company also, it’s called Prime Time 360 Sports and Management. This is something I have taken a heart to. I joined up with Roy Englebrecht who has put on good amateur and pro mma and boxing events. I want to be able to help mold and structure these guys for their future. The way that you do that is you get them when they are amateurs and you teach them how to be professionals. Not just inside the cage as a fighter, but as businessmen. This was a great thing and a positive way for me to give back to the fighters. I’ve made mistakes and done things great, but I have learned and now I have the opportunity to teach it.

I’ve run into on the local scene with a lot of fighters that aren’t good at interviews or open their mouth and say things they shouldn’t. Even though I know they can kick my ass, they say the wrong thing. Is that one of those things specifically you will be working with these kids?

100%. There’s so many things that I want to build them. It’s kinda like going to school. I am going to show them the right ways to do things and the bad ways that they are doing them and how to fix it. I want them to treat this as a professional business. Don’t go out there and get DUI and in fights with people on the street. I want them to hold themselves on a higher stature. That’s what really matters and that’s how they will make more money. You have to get people in those seats to want to watch you and fall in love with you. That’s part of the business of their name.

Fans have fallen in love with you, then hated you, then fallen in love again towards you. What is your advice to these up and coming fighters when they are no longer the fan favorite and are suddenly being booed?

That’s a good thing. Either being booed or cheered for. When you have fans who aren’t saying anything, that’s when you need to worry. I think they need to embrace them. The biggest worry is when the fans don’t care at all.

Was there ever a point in your career when that happened and you freaked and wondered what you needed to do?

Yeah of course. After the bad blood stuff happened between me and Chuck Liddell. That’s when it really happened. A bad image was being spread against me from the UFC and they were saying I wasn’t going to fight. That’s when I started to get the boos. The fans believed the propaganda and hated me. Then I did The Ultimate Fighter season three and it switched. Everyone cheered for me. They saw me as a real person and saw past the lies. They saw how I helped out the guys like Michael Bisping, Matt Hamill, Kendall Grove. Then people thought I was a really great guy and a good coach. Then it switched when I did The Ultimate Fighter season eleven when I had to get neck surgery. They said I didn’t want to fight. Sorry, but I fought him twice, why wouldn’t I fight him a third time? I was looking at my neck and I didn’t want to go paralyzed….

Read the rest of the interview at www.mmarecap.com!

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