By: Hans Themistode
Sometimes, things become far more complexed than they need to be.
Heading into his boxing debut against former UFC star Anderson Silva, Tito Ortiz is still attempting to get comfortable in the squared circle. Having spent the past few decades building his name and perfecting his craft in the Mixed Martial Arts world, Ortiz won’t fulminate with anyone who says he isn’t a boxer.
In fact, the 46-year-old agrees with those assertions. With that said, while the 2012 UFC Hall of Famer won’t disguise the fact that he’s a boxing newbie, once the bell rings, he’ll be looking to cause serious damage.
“I’m a fighter,” said Ortiz during a press conference. “I’m not a boxer, I’m learning boxing, I’m going to continue to learn boxing but I’m a fighter. I’m gonna come in and swing for the fences.”
Ortiz vs. Silva is set to co-main event a five-fight card at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Hollywood, Florida later on tonight, which is headlined by Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort.
Much like Ortiz, Silva is still getting accustomed to fighting on a boxing stage as opposed to inside a steel cage. But, so far so good. After losing his professional boxing debut against Osmar Luiz Teixeira in 1998 via first-round stoppage, Silva would return to the ring seven years later against Julio Cesar De Jesus, scoring a second-round knockout victory.
From there, Silva prioritized a career in MMA and went on to become one of the greatest fighters the sport has ever seen. After dominating for over a decade, it appeared as though Silva was on his way to retirement. However, when the opportunity to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a boxing ring was presented to him, Silva found it to be an irresistible proposition.
Although Silva hadn’t fought in a professional contest in 16 years, he shook off the cobwebs and won a close but clear split decision on the night.
Known for his karate style of attack, Ortiz is well aware of what Silva brings to the table. Not to overcomplicate things, Ortiz has made his game plan to defeat Silva as simple as possible.
“I use two fists and try to punch through Anderson Silva’s face,” explained Ortiz. “Anderson is gonna try to do his Bruce Lee bullshit, I’m gonna come in to fight. That’s what I know how to do.”