Tito Ortiz On Ending His MMA Retirement, Why He Asked For A ‘Side Bet’ For His Fight With Alberto El Patron

Tito Ortiz recently spoke with Wrestlezone’s Kevin Kellam ahead of his big fight against Alberto El Patron for Combate Americas this Saturday. Ortiz talked about their ‘side bet’ which sees him and Alberto putting up their respective championships up for grabs—Ortiz’s UFC title against Alberto’s WWE Championship. Tito said it was his idea because he has always wanted to be a WWE Champion, and he wanted to add a little incentive to the fight.

“I had an idea, how do I train for a guy who has an MMA record of 9-5? He’s fought before in Japan. Something that makes me hungry, something that makes me want this,” Ortiz said, “it’s about competition also. I’ve always wanted to be a WWE champion. I’ve always wanted to have one of those belts. Yeah, I could go buy a replica for a couple of hundred bucks but why wouldn’t I want to get the real one that was given to him? It was a lot of hard work for him to make that happen. I worked my butt off to become a world champion, so I said, ‘You know what, let’s do a little side bet.’”

Ortiz says his kids are huge fans of WWE and they’ll not only walk him out to the cage but once he wins the fight he’s going to let them display it in their room and show it off to their friends. “We’ll all be a WWE champion at the same time,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz had previously said his Bellator 170 fight on January 21, 2017, would be his last, but ended up coming out of retirement to face Chuck Liddell in a third fight between them on November 24, 2018. When asked why he decided to come out of retirement, Ortiz says looking back, he doesn’t consider it one so much as he was just saying he’s done. Ortiz says

“I think after the Chuck fight, it wasn’t technically a retirement. It was just kind of saying that I was done. I didn’t want to. When the fight was over, I felt so healthy. For the first time in my career, I felt healthy. I’ve been riddled with injuries since 2003 all the way up to 2014. After I fought Chael Sonnen in 2018,” Ortiz said, “I had neck surgery where I had three disc replacements. I wanted to be done. Chuck Liddell thought that he would call me out, that it would be an easy fight, that he would smash me around. He tried to embarrass me to the world. What am I going to say, no? Then he’d say ‘Oh, Tito’s afraid to fight me anyway.’”

Tito Ortiz faces off with Alberto El Patron for Combate Americas in Hidalgo, Texas on December 7, 2019. The event is available to watch live on FITE TV at 9 pm EST.

Check out our full interview with Ortiz below:

Read More: Alberto El Patron: Facing Tito Ortiz Is Bigger Than ‘Just An MMA Fight’