Prior to UFC 100, SI.com had the chance to speak with many of the promotion's elite fighters -- past and present. Here's what Tito Ortiz had to say about Saturday's card, his career in the cage and much more.
I think UFC 100 is great for the fans. It's a great opportunity to see some great guys compete and to be a part of it.
But is it significant to me? I guess not significant at all because they won't even show my best fights on SpikeTV.
I might be watching. Not sure yet, we'll see. I have a signing at Hooters in Vegas and at my Punishment MMA stores, so I'll be there from noon to 3 p.m., and then we have a little after party at Hooters.
This card probably ranks sixth or seventh among the promotion's most significant to date. If you look at the other cards they had, they were a lot more spectacular. I think when me and Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Chuck Liddell were all on the same cards, they were some of the best cards ever. St. Pierre now is the best draw over all of them.
I love St. Pierre. He works super hard and shows hard work pays off. He hasn't been touched in a while and I don't think he's going to be touched. I think he'll beat Alves -- not easily, but pretty decisively.
Nothing against Brock -- he's awesome and a great guy -- but for his third fight to be one of the biggest events around is kind of hard to swallow. But it is what it is.
He'll handle Mir. It's funny how they make champions now. It's just the way they make fights I guess. You gotta give props to [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva, he's doing an awesome job.
I love Bisping. He's a hard trainer and works his [butt] off. But Dan Henderson is a monster. He's got great wrestling skills. If Bisping can stop a takedown he could possibly pull off a win. Stopping a takedown -- that's what really matters.
The growth of the sport is huge. Fans are finally starting to see fighters for who they are. They're so used to watching boxers, and I think we're changing the sport 100 percent.
We're modern-day gladiators, as they say.
The fan support has been awesome because we showed mixed martial arts in the right light, not how it was marketed in the beginning when Bob Meyrowitz marketed it as one of the bloodiest sports in existence and "two men enter, one man leaves." That's not how it should have been marketed. It should have been marketed as true athletes, as it is today.
I wouldn't be in MMA if I didn't believe it would reach this point.
We're not barroom brawlers that get in there and fight each other to the death. This is a sport. It's like chess.
Understand that fighting's awesome but it's a business, and at the end of the day you need to get paid.
Fans want to see a show no matter what. If you have a boring fight, they'll hate you. If you put on an exciting fight, they'll never forget you. And that's what I've always tried to do.
Biggest lesson over the years as a fighter? Wow. Never believe anybody who promises you the world. They'll never deliver.
"Diamond" Dallas Page. I was actually at a Cheetahs in Las Vegas and I saw him. I was a big fan, so I thought I should go talk to him. This was back when I was a champion in 2000. I told him I was kind of interested in doing WWF. He said, 'Really? You want to come over to the dark side.' I started talking to him and he said, 'Listen man, no matter you're decision, you're the champ. Just remember the people around you right now and don't forget where you came from.' I always took that to heart.
Aspects of my career I'm most proud of? Top three: Of course, me winning the world title against Wanderlei Silva. Doing The Ultimate Fighter. We got a whole new fan base to see who I really was. That was awesome. And at the end of my career in the UFC, standing up to a billion-dollar company and standing tall with a lot of integrity. I think that's the highlight of everything.
When I fought Frank Shamrock, I learned not to get caught in a guillotine again.
Mike Tyson. I watched him when I was in high school. He was amazing, just ferocious. I have the same attitude when I fight: to make my opponent afraid of getting elbowed or kneed in the face.
I listen to music for motivation. I listen to a lot of Eminem's stuff. There's a lot of motivational stuff in there in his life that I've lived through. I associate a lot through it. Him being a father and me being a father, I see a lot of association through it.
Everybody shows a weakness as age sets in. Liddell was one of the toughest of his time. Couture was one of the toughest of his time.
You're only as good as your last fight.
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