On Sept. 19, 2015 Tito Ortiz (18-11-1) will have a chance to add another mixed martial arts (MMA) world title to his collection when he meets current Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary (10-0) at Bellator 141: Dynamite in San Jose.
Ortiz has earned a 2-0 record since making the jump to Bellator. In his debut, he choked out Alexander Shlemenko via arm-triangle in the first round. Shlemenko was the middleweight champion at the time. He then bested rival and former fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) competitor Stephan Bonnar by split decision.
While McGeary is undefeated, Ortiz doesn’t appear to be fazed. Speaking with MMAJunkie.com, Ortiz feels it’s already a forgone conclusion that the Bellator light heavyweight title will be his:
“I just cleared a spot for a Bellator world title. I tell my kids, ‘Dad’s going to be a champion again.’”
Ortiz is able to see the strengths of his opponent, but he also sees some flaws that he hopes to exploit come fight night:
“I see a lot of holes in his game,” he said. “He’s great in standup, great on the ground. Do I do the jiu-jitsu game? Do I do the standup? On Sept. 19, we’re going to find out. I’m going to be the world champion. I’ve already set it in my mind as a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Despite nabbing his first two wins inside the Bellator cage, Ortiz says getting a title opportunity wasn’t a cakewalk:
“I had to push for it. I pushed it through Scott (Coker), Spike, Viacom, I had to ask and ask and ask. I said, ‘you know what guys, the numbers don’t lie.’ When you get 2.2 million viewers and every other fight they’ve had has an average of 800,000, people want to tune in and it’s all about viewership.”
While Ortiz’s last contest was a grudge match with Bonnar, Ortiz says that won’t be the case when he steps inside the cage with McGeary:
“I just went out there and I was trying to kill him (Bonnar). I still dislike the guy, but this fight is totally different. I like Liam. I think Liam is a great guy. I think he is a great champ, but he’s very beatable.”
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