MMA: Rolls-Royce

Ortiz in his words: The crash, the test, more

July, 27, 2011
7/27/11
11:31
AM ET
By Tito Ortiz
Special to ESPN.com
Archive
In this blog, former champion Tito Ortiz why he'll never text and drive again, what made him cry and his thoughts on Rashad Evans ahead of their clash at UFC 133.
Tito OrtizAP Photo/Danny MoloshokThere's no crying in MMA, but there is crying at the mechanic's shop.

I learned a valuable -- or maybe I should say “expensive” -- lesson at the weekend: Don't text and drive!

I was taking a day off from training and driving in my Rolls-Royce Phantom, my pride and joy, and I looked down at my phone for literally one second because I had a text -- and I crashed my Phantom.

My first concern was my son, Jacob, who was travelling with me. He was fine, we were only doing 20 mph and I hit the brakes, but it is a shock to any parent to have their kid involved in any kind of accident. But he was totally fine so I got out to look at the damage ... and I nearly cried right there.

I let my attention slip for one second ... I just couldn't believe what I'd done. The grill was totaled. The headlights were done. The hood was mangled up. It was a really, really expensive mistake. That's my dream car. It sucks. It sucks so bad. I really, literally cried. Seriously, I cried. There will be some guys reading this going "Really? Tito cried over a fender bender?" but I know other guys will understand a man's love for his vehicle. That's my pride and joy. I love that car. I worked so hard to get that car. That's a unique vehicle and I was so dumb to look at my phone.

Seriously, I know it is just a car, just a possession, and it's a little funny to think of a grown man, a UFC champion, crying because of a fender bender but I don't care. The car is worth $300,000 and I did about $45,000 worth of damage. Just so, so depressing.

Putting it another way: after tax, that's my entire “Submission of the night” bonus from choking out Ryan Bader at UFC 132.

Now I need another sub or KO or Fight of the night against Rashad Evans at UFC 133.

Seriously, kids, don't text and drive.

Ready for the fight

Tito OrtizMarc J Sanchez / Icon SMIMan of honor: Don't expect Tito Ortiz to target Rashad Evans' bum knee.

After crashing my car and damaging my bank balance (all on my rest day), I was pretty damn happy to get back to the gym. I very happy with the way my body has responded to the quick turnaround. Like I said in the blog before, I've adapted my training as I've gotten older and don't do six, seven hours a day anymore. My body needs more quality training, and I'm dialing down the quantity and I feel great.

It's all there for me. I am in a completely positive place. I've beaten Rashad Evans before, it has gone down in the books as a draw but the fact is that in the Octagon, I was the better man when we last fought and I am a healthier version of myself than last time.

Now he's coming off a lay-off and a serious injury. He has been out a year with a knee problem, like I had to before my rematch with Forrest Griffin a year ago, and he's going to have to deal with that doubt. Is he mentally strong enough to deal with knowing he’s going to be rusty? We will see.

I've been asked if I will target his knee -- and the answer is no. I won't. I'm not that type of person. I want to beat Rashad Evans at UFC 133 fair and square. If I kick his leg, it will be part of a wider game plan to win the fight. It won't be to take advantage of an injury Rashad may or may not have.

Forrest Griffin targeted my injury in our second fight and I don't want to be that guy.

Lots of weight on Rashad’s shoulders

Rashad Evans Quinton 'Rampage' JacksonJon Kopaloff/Getty ImagesAfraid of commitment: Tito Ortiz feels Rashad Evans, left, backs off from engaging.

I invented this role of the s--- talker in the UFC. I was the first guy to do this and blow up because of it. I talked a ton of s--- about a lot of guys before fights to get attention and to establish my name and my Punishment brand.

But I backed it up. All those title wins, being champion for longer than anyone else ... and even the fights I did lose, I still backed up what I had been saying.

Now Rashad's taking over that role. He talks a lot of crap, but I don't think Rashad backs his big mouth up like I did mine. Rashad isn't me of course … I am the longest-reigning UFC 205-pound champion ever, and he couldn't hold on to the belt for one defense.

He talked a lot about my friend Quinton Jackson, but he didn't want to fight when it was time to go into the Octagon.

Now he's making a big mistake talking about me being “lucky” to beat Bader and get this fight with him. His ass can't cash this check.

Has he done what I've done in my career? No. Could he even defend the title once? No.

I don't need to run my mouth anymore. I can retire tomorrow, and I will be in the record books. My career right now is all about positives. I want to win my title back, inspire people, show that you can overcome injuries and a lot of negativity. I'm overcome so much to get back here. Rashad hasn't done anything like that.

I said it before and will say it again: all the pressure is on Rashad. And I am going to put a ton more on him in the first round.

Can Rashad deal with that pressure? Can he deal with the pressure that everyone expects him to win this fight, against a guy he should have lost to before even thought I was hurt in that first fight? That's a lot of pressure on him. He stayed out for 14 months rather than take fights, and it was a huge mistake in his career. Now he's almost forgotten and the guy he has a W over -- Rampage -- is fighting for the title and not him. That's even more pressure on him for this fight.

I am not sure he can handle that pressure.


Follow Ortiz on Twitter @titoortiz and at www.punishment.com

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