Never one to avoid being a part of a moment, Tito Ortiz has appeared to enter the Mike Tyson sweepstakes.
The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion in Ortiz (21-12-1) told TMZ Sports that he could be the one to welcome Tyson (50-5, 2 NC) back into the combat sports world. If given the opportunity, he would step up right away.
“I got a phone call and someone started asking me, ‘What do you think about fighting Mike Tyson?’ I was like, ‘Really?’ This is an opportunity that I like. I’m in,’” Ortiz stated, via MMA Junkie.
Ortiz debut as an MMA fighter in 1997 at UFC 13. He fought for the promotion until UFC 148 in 2012. “The Hungtington Beach Bad Boy” has been a part of several classic title fights and bouts in general, holding legendary rivalries with Chuck Liddell and Ken Shamrock. Ending the last few bouts of his UFC career 1-7-1, Ortiz went to Bellator. He ended up 3-1 with the promotion.
Things took a turn when he fought Liddell one last time at a Golden Boy event. The lackluster affair saw Ortiz win in the first round. He then beat former WWE star Alberto El Patron via submission for Combate Americas. That fight also only lasted one round.
Tyson recently announced his return to action to raise money for charity. He is looking to provide exposure to prove he can do it and for a good cause. Ortiz, on the other hand, sees glory and money in this. He believes it will do better than the $55,414,865.79 live gate with 4.3 million domestic buys from Showtime that the bout between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor did.
“You know what Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather did?” Ortiz went on to say. “I think we could double that. It’d be amazing. It’d be fun. It’d be a great opportunity for both of our brands. The hard work that pays off, the person’s hand will get raised. Everyone knows me as being a hard worker.”
Tyson has not fought since 2005. Ortiz does not know if the fight would be in an MMA cage or a boxing ring, the latter in which has not had a bout in. Regardless of that fact and that he has retired multiple times over the last few years, Ortiz is confident his experience can trump “Iron” Mike’s.
“Has Tyson been punched in the face in the last 15 years? No he hasn’t,” Ortiz said. “I have been. I’ve been able to subdue everyone I’ve competed against over the last four years.”