Former UFC champion Tito Ortiz says there is no temptation to return to the fight game again.

Despite a bit of a heated back-and-forth exchange with Chuck Liddell, Ortiz told “Submission Radio” that he is enjoying retirement. He’s also waiting for neck surgery once more.

If Tito has at all felt any temptation to come back and fight again

“Not even a thought in my mind. I’m still like dying from neck pain. I have to get neck surgery here and I was supposed to get it a month a half ago and I just, insurance got denied so I gotta wait. They gotta appeal it and after they appeal it then it has to go through, back and forth, paper work. They make you jump through fire hoops to get the surgery done and I just, I don’t know, man, I can’t stand the pain but I have to wait to get the surgery. So fighting hasn’t even been an idea. Getting in the gym and training hasn’t even been an idea. I mean, I haven’t gotten into the gym since right before the fight. I think that’s the last time I did anything strenuous like that was fighting Chael Sonnen.”

The story behind how the staredown picture come about that Chuck posted on his Instagram account and the subsequent trading of words that followed

“I was at a poker event with Poker Stars and he was at the same event also playing, and the media wanted to take a face-off picture and I said, cool. And then when he started walking towards the back he said, “let’s do another face-off picture and let me post it”. I was like, “alright, cool. I mean, you know it’s not gonna happen, why?”. I mean, but I guess he just wanted to get some play out of it, which he did. That night I reposted “why not” and I said why not. I just said it on emotions, I probably shouldn’t have did what I reposted, but at that time I had a couple of drinks in me and the bad boy comes out every once in a while (laughs). I just, I just don’t plan on fighting. I don’t plan on people trying to force me to fight. I had to get neck surgery, why would I even think about fighting? Why would I even think about risking myself physically when I gotta take care of kids still? So I probably shouldn’t have said what I said on my Twitter. I was saying, you know, “do you need money? I’ll lend it to you”. So I probably shouldn’t have said that. I shouldn’t have posted the video of him in Texas, but like I said, I did it all on emotions. I thought it was funny at the time and I apologised after and it’s behind me now. But like I said, Chuck wanted to get some play out of it, he did. I’m too old to be fighting. I’m 42 years old, I’m too old. I’m not a Randy Couture and I really don’t need the cash right now. So I’d rather make money in other means, more mental than the physical side. Being in the gym six days a week, six to eight hours a day isn’t really my idea of working anymore. That’s behind me now. It’s been 20 years and I think I’ve done all I needed to do. And yeah, I think I could beat Chuck, but still, I don’t need to do that anymore. My body can’t take it. That’s been my biggest enemy through my whole career, is my body. So I gotta step back and now I gotta use my brain. That’s what I went to college for. So let’s go ahead and continue doing that in an exciting sense.”

If Chuck asked to fight him on the night and mentioned he was returning to active competition

“No. Actually that night he didn’t but I know prior (to that) he had people reach out to my people saying, “we should fight each other again,” and I just, I left on my own terms. I left when I wanted to leave. I didn’t leave because I got knocked out four times in a row. I left when I needed to leave. I took the best path I could possibly do with and I walked away. I think I left on a storybook ending. No reason for me to come back and mess anything up and try to push my body beyond where it needs to go.”

“But with Chuck, that night he never came up to me and said let’s post it and let’s fight and so forth. He said a couple of people came up to him, that we’d make some big money out of it. And I was just like, I don’t want to fight anymore.”

When Chuck’s people reached out to Tito about fighting

“It was right around when I was retiring. It was right when I was retiring. I think it might’ve been right after I retired.”

*Submission radio asks if it was after the Chael Sonnen fight*


What Tito’s true friendship with Chuck is like behind the scenes

“Listen, when we first became together we were managed by the same person. We were Team Punishment. We were the first Team Punishment, me and Chuck Liddell. He would come and stay at my house in Huntington Beach, I let him sleep on my coach and he’d do the same thing when I’d go up to San Luis Obispo. Him trying to say that we were never friends and so forth, it was he was buying what UFC were selling and that’s the whole deal. He didn’t care about what money he got paid, he just wanted to fight. That’s all. He wanted to be champion. That’s all he cared about. My idea was, if we’re going to be friends and we’re going to fight each other, we’re going to make big money. You know, we’re going to make five million, ten million. We’re going to make a big chunk of what the UFC were making at the time. I think one of the biggest ones they got were over 42 million dollars for our second fight, and we just got maybe four percent of that, three percent of that, if that. It just didn’t make sense to me. And he caved in the very first fight when we fought and we got paid 150,000 dollars apiece, which is pennies. And for him to give away our friendship for that, we became acquaintances. And when we do see each other it’s ,“hey what’s up”, “hey what’s up, buddy,” and no more than that. That’s the way I am towards friends who turn their back on me. It’s just acquaintances. I’m fine with it. When I’m close to someone, I treat them like family and I think that’s the way it should be when you become friends with somebody, it should be like family when money is involved. Same thing goes with Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. We were going to make sure we made money, we were going to make millions when we fought. Even in Bellator, we were still going to make millions when we fought, and that was the reason why we were going to fight each other. Now with Chuck, it was always totally different. He didn’t care. He was willing to fight no matter what and I just didn’t. It didn’t make sense to me. So for him to turn his back on me the way he did, there was always that little grudge towards each other and nowadays it’s once again it’s, “hey, what’s up”, handshake, “hey, it’s good to see you”, “right on,” and no more than that.”

If Tito feels bad that Chuck had to retire just as MMA was hitting its peak

“Yeah, I mean that just happens with fighters. Some guys can fix their problems and move on and get better, take a couple of the losses and come back as I did. I mean, I took five losses in a row until I came and did something. It’s hard. You look at Ronda Rousey and she’s just taken the loss she has and can she come back and do it? It’s hard for a person to do that. But I was always set in my mind that I could achieve anything as long as I set my mind to the right way. But I can’t help a person’s career if I’m not around managing them and if they won’t listen to me as a friend, as I tried to talk to Chuck a long time ago as a friend and he wouldn’t listen to me. It is what it is and that’s the way it played out. UFC had his back after he retired, so he was getting paid all the way up until last year, and now he’s not getting paid anymore and he’s kind of realised, “well, what am I going to do now”? And that’s the way it is. It’s too bad. I wish people would listen to other friends who have been through it.”

If at 47 years old and with the damage he’s sustained, if Tito thinks it’s a wise idea for Chuck to fight again

“I would be very worried about him. I think that was one of the reasons why Dana pulled him from the UFC to fight in general. I think he needs to look at the history. I mean, as a friend, that concerns me. I would be concerned about the person, not only just to see a person fight. We’ve had our time. We’ve shined when we needed to shine. And that’s why I walked away personally. I shined when I needed to shine. I don’t need to hurt myself anymore. I don’t need to try and kill myself to prove to myself how bad I truly am, cause I know how bad I am. I don’t need to show it to anybody and I hope Chuck understands it himself how bad he truly is and he doesn’t need to show anybody.”

Why Tito believes he would have won the third fight

“I think just my mental side of it now compared to what I was back then. I was a totally different person. Number one, my life wasn’t about fighting, it was about taking care of a relationship and taking care of my children that was falling apart. Now it’s totally different. My family is completely solid. Amber Miller is my girlfriend that helps with my children that is pretty much their mother – not blood, but just the way she’s been here now for the last four years and she’s taken the place and made my family super, super happy and it’s made me super, super happy and that’s number one. With my kids happy, me happy, I’m a dangerous person with that. Yeah, my loss to Liam McGeary was a little mistake that I made, but I mean, I could have went 3-0 and been the Bellator world champ and retired. But I made a little mistake and I didn’t. But I did win three of those fights of the four. I just, now I’m a different fighter. I’m super dangerous and I think Chuck’s chin is very, very weak. When you get knocked out it gets easier and easier each time, but that’s just my opinion. Like I said, I’m a different fighter, I’m a different person in general. I’m not the same person I was from 2007 to 2013. I changed completely in general.”

On Germaine de Randamie not wanting to fight Cris Cybrog

“Yeah, she should be. All the girls that want to fight Cris should (laughs). Cris is a very, very, very dangerous women. This girl is vicious when she fights. This is not a game to her. It’s not, you know, going to play soccer or basketball, this is a fight. She’s fighting for her life and all she does is train. That’s why she’s one of the baddest women on the planet. She’ll fight anyone, anywhere, any time. And Cris Cyborg, I mean, numbers don’t lie. The girl has earned everything she’s gotten so far, that’s why she’ll be fighting for a vacant world title, because the other girl don’t wanna step up and fight.”

If Tito would like to see Cyborg stay in the UFC or go somewhere where she’s more appreciated

“I think the UFC is the home for her because it’s one of the oldest organisations. You know, they’ve don’t so well, it’s on a huge stage. I would love to continue to see her be a world champion for there. I mean, that’s her choice. At the end of the day, she’s the one that’s in there doing the fighting, she’s the one that’s stepping in the cage and fighting in general, but we want to make sure she makes million-dollar paydays, and we’re almost there. So as soon as she does get there she’ll understand what all the hard work has been paying off for. You know, the decision at the end of the day is hers. Like I said, George Prajin has a lot to do with it with Prime Time 360, and he’s an amazing attorney, agent. We work really hard to make sure that she says the right things, and sometimes on the internet she lets her emotions get the best of her sometimes. And I’ve had that problem and I try to tell her not to do it, but she’s a girl and she makes mistakes, so she’s human. But at the end of the day, as long as she’s fighting in the UFC and fighting for the world title, I think that’s the main goal.”

If Cris is going to be on UFC 214 and if they have any opponents for her

“Actually, I believe there’s three opponents. I can’t say the names but we’ll be letting out the news hopefully by the end of this week it will get signed and done. I know she’s on the card, so we’re just kind of waiting right now. This will be a George Prajin answer, a question to him and an answer from him. But I guess you could see it online at Prime Time 360 at @ESM when Cris next fight is and who she will be fighting.”

If there’s a 145-pounder being brought in or a 135-pounder moving up to fight her

“I believe it’s a 145-pounder being brought in, I think. Someone super, super tough. I actually got three choices. The girls are super tough. Nothing at Cris’ level, so I mean, I don’t think there’s anyone in the world at Cris’ level. You know, Ronda had her chance and she ran away. So I don’t think it’s gonna be close to her, but it will be a good name, big name, someone who’s willing to fight her. Does she have a chance? Probably about a million to one. So yes there is a chance, but Cris is a monster, man. Let me tell you, in wrestling, I have men wrestle with her and they can’t take her down or hold her down. So they’re getting taken down by her – and that’s her weak suit, is wrestling. Her striking is amazing. Jason Parillo has done an amazing job with her striking, along with Brian Krause. Cris just continues to train the way she is and she will be invincible. I mean, she’s a very vicious woman who works really, really hard and she’ll be the next UFC 145-pound world champ.”

Prediction on Bellator main event between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva

“I think it will be really, really interesting. Chael Sonnen is super weak. He’s kind of like a girl. Like, I mean, he’s so soft. I can’t believe how soft he is. But I think Wanderlei will just buzzsaw right through him. But I mean, I know Chael’s wrestling is okay if he does try to wrestle. But if he tries to strike with Wanderlei, he’s going to get knocked out. I watched a while back when he did the Ultimate Fighter, Chael did take him down pretty easy. So I think if Wanderlei worked on his takedown defence I think it would be a really hard fight for Chael to win. But you know, the Fedor fight, the other fight with Mitrione, that’s another fight I want to see. I’d like to see Mitrione with his hand raised, but Fedor is a very, very dangerous person and Michael Chandler is a monster. He is the iron Mike 100 percent. That champ is exciting to watch. Just watching his training is amazing. So I think the card up and down is going to be great. I’ll be there myself, I’ll be in New York watching it live. So it’s going to be exciting.”