UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz Says He Was Offered Mike Tyson Fight: 'I'm In'May 24, 2020
Could we be getting another boxing-MMA crossover fight? This time featuring two legends of their respective crafts, Mike Tyson and Tito Ortiz?
Ortiz told TMZ Sports that it's a real possibility.
"I get a phone call, and someone starts asking me, 'Hey, uh, what do you think about fighting Mike Tyson?'" he said. "I was like, 'Really? This is the opportunity of my life. I'm in.'"
Ortiz said he doesn't know if the fight will be a boxing match or MMA bout, but said he's capable of either.
"I've been boxing for 20 years and my boxing skills have gotten better and better," he said. "It may not be on the same level as Tyson but has Tyson been punched in the face in the last 15 years? No he hasn't. And I have and I've been able to subdue everyone I've competed against over the past four years."
That's a fair point. The 45-year-old Ortiz has fought three times in that duration, beating Chael Sonnen in 2017 (rear-naked choke), Chuck Liddell in 2018 (knockout) and Alberto El Patron in 2019 (rear-naked choke). Since leaving the UFC, he's gone 5-1 in total since 2014.
The 53-year-old Tyson, meanwhile, last fought in 2005, losing to Kevin McBride. He also lost in 2004 to Danny Williams and finished out his fighting career 1-3 after being one of the most dominant heavyweight boxers in history during his prime.
Ortiz is a legend of his own sport, as he held the UFC light heavyweight belt for five title defenses between 2000-03.
A fight between Ortiz and Tyson would be reminiscent of 2017's cross-sport matchup between boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC star Conor McGregor. Mayweather won that boxing match by TKO in 10 rounds, one of the most lucrative in fighting history, with reports that Mayweather likely took home an estimated $230 million for the fight, with McGregor banking $70 million.
Ortiz told TMZ Sports that he believes a matchup with Tyson could double those numbers. That might be a bit ambitious, but there's little doubt it would generate major interest.