At the moment, UFC Hall of Famer and former lightweight champion Tito Ortiz is preparing for a completely different challenge — his upcoming Combate Americas debut against former WWE and Impact Wrestling standout Alberto Del Rio. However, the 44-year-old MMA legend also opened up recently about how he feels he’d do against some of the UFC’s biggest stars of the present, including reigning light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones.
Ortiz made these comments In an appearance on The Domenick Nati Show, where he was asked whether he’d do better in a fight against Jones or one versus current UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. As quoted by Low Kick MMA, Ortiz said he could “do a lot better” against Jones, as Cormier is a “shorter” fighter with larger torso and leg measurements. He added that Jones is a “long and lengthy” fighter, pointing out that he could perform well against the 31-year-old light heavyweight champ by getting inside and trying to “overpower some of the positions” he favors.
According to Low Kick MMA, this didn’t mark the first time in recent weeks that Tito Ortiz talked about the techniques he could use to defeat someone like Jon Jones, as he touched on the matter earlier in July, shortly before his victory over Thiago Santos at UFC 239. In the interview with Nati, Ortiz reiterated these “keys to victory,” which included the extensive training regimen he went through while preparing for his November 2018 fight against fellow UFC icon Chuck Liddell, which he ended up winning.
“If I have a camp like I did the last one of 18 weeks, [I can] 100 percent [beat Jones]. There really hasn’t been anybody to fight Jon Jones, to get in his face, and stay in his face. Everybody else, they want to strike on the outside with him. He’s too damn long, you cannot do that. You got to get in the inside of him. That’s the way to fight him.”
— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) July 17, 2019
Commenting on Ortiz’s assessment of his chances against Jones, MMA Mania opined that the veteran fighter might have his hands full against “Bones,” who had defeated a number of fighters that tried something similar by taking the fight inside, including those that were longer and rangier than him. The outlet said that Jones “just seems to have an answer for everything,” may it be on the offensive end or on defense.
As for his upcoming Combates America opponent, Ortiz acknowledged to Nati that Alberto Del Rio is someone who can “take a beating,” given his reputation as a WWE veteran and former champion. However, he predicted that his fight against Del Rio will be just like the Liddell bout from last year, meaning it will likely be “nice and short.”