Tito Ortiz says he won’t be available for New Year’s Eve bout with Fedor Emelianenko

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Tito Ortiz is interested in a potential fight with Fedor Emelianenko with them both being featured on Spike, but he said this weekend it will not be on New Year’s Eve in Japan.

“Not on New Year’s Eve, no,” Ortiz said when asked if he’d take that fight for Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s new promotion in an interview with Submission Radio. “I would love to. I just gotta go in and get some little, light surgical work done, I guess you could say. I gotta go get a bone shaved down. So I’ll be healed by next year. But I’m going to enjoy Christmas, I’m going to enjoy Thanksgiving, Im going to enjoy New Year’s, I’m going to enjoy my birthday for the first time in a long, long, long time. I miss missing those times, and right now my kids are six years old and I want to enjoy the holidays with my children.

“I think that’s the number one thing for me right now, is to be a Dad and to be happy. New Years Eve, I’ll be having a cold beer in my hand, saying ‘happy new year’s’ to my family, instead of going out and trying to kill somebody. It sound a lot funner to me (laughs). I’ve been putting a lot of work in over a last few years, so I think it’s time to take a little break.

As for the matchup itself, Ortiz believes his wrestling game would play a significant factor were they to fight.

“Wrestling of course,” he said. “On our feet, he’s a little older. He’s not the young guy who throws super fast now. I think in the wrestling area. Him going for submissions, and they’re not crisp for submissions. So just try and punish him. But of course if we fought each other, it’d be at light heavyweight. I mean I’ve always fought at light heavyweight. There’s no reason to go up. I think my weight class, when I’m in the best shape possible is 205, and that’s what I’ll fight at. But you know, I think my wrestling will keep it at par. I know the fight on New Year’s, I’ve heard of a few opponents, so it will be a question of if he can handle the competitors he competes against.”

Penick’s Analysis: Despite the loss to McGeary, Ortiz is on the short list of options that at least seem somewhat intriguing for Emelianenko, but he’s obviously ruling himself out of that fight for the end of the year. That said, if Emelianenko is fighting more than just once on Spike, Ortiz could be an option for his second fight next year. There’s too much time between now and when that could potentially happen, but it’s an option.

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