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Mike Tyson created quite the stir when he posted a video of himself hitting mitts earlier this month.
The former heavyweight champion looked remarkably fit for a soon to be 54-year-old, and it didn’t take long for rumors to begin regarding a charity fight with former rival Evander Holyfield, who is making a comeback of his own. However, there appears to be another interesting name from the mixed martial arts realm in the running for a fight with Tyson.
“I got a phone call and someone started asking me, ‘What do you think about fighting Mike Tyson?’ I was like, ‘Really?’ This is an opportunity of my life. I’m in,'” Tito Ortiz recently told TMZ Sports.
Ortiz didn’t offer further details on the nature of the call, and the former UFC light heavyweight champion isn’t sure if the hypothetical bout would be contested under boxing or MMA rules. Regardless of the discipline, the 45-year-old Team Punishment standout is confident in his skills.
“I’m not sure if it’s going to be MMA or boxing yet,” Ortiz said. “I haven’t even gotten that far. We both have got to be cleared by the athletic commissions. That’s the biggest thing. Either one. I’ve been boxing for 20 years. My boxing skills have gotten better and better. They may not be at the same level as Tyson, but has Tyson been punched in the face in the last 15 years? No, he hasn’t. I have been. I’ve been able to subdue everyone I’ve competed against over the last four years.”
Tyson hasn’t fought professionally since a loss to Kevin McBride in 2005. Ortiz has been more active, earning first-round stoppages against Chael Sonnen, Chuck Liddell and Alberto Rodriguez over the last three years. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has respect for Tyson’s accomplishments but points out he built an impressive resume of his own in MMA.
“I respect Mike,” Ortiz said. “Mike is an amazing man. He’s an amazing individual in general, just what he’s gone through and what he’s [become]. I’ve got to give him nothing but respect. I’m not trying to disrespect him at all with anything I say this point out on. I really want to let him know that, ‘Mike, you are the man. You are one of the best in the world.’ But I was one of the best in the world at my own game, too.”
Ortiz believes that a matchup with Tyson would do historic numbers.
“You know what Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather did?” Ortiz said. “I think we could double that. It’d be amazing. It’d be fun. It’d be a great opportunity for both of our brands. The hard work that pays off, the person’s hand will get raised. Everyone knows me as being a hard worker.”
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