• UFC news

Tito Ortiz: I beat Jon Jones in my prime

ESPN staff
June 16, 2012
Tito Ortiz is a legendary figure in the UFC © UFC

Tito Ortiz has made the bold claim that he would beat Jon Jones if the pair both fought in their primes.

Ortiz, who will soon be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, has registered more successful light-heavyweight title defences than any fighter in UFC history.

However, that record is being challenged by reigning champion Jones, who has already seen off the challenges of Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans. Three more wins would see him usurp Ortiz.

The Huntington Beach Bad Boy Ortiz is set to bow out of the UFC when he fights Forrest Griffin at UFC 148, where he looks for only his second win in nine fights. However, the 37-year-old claims the best version of himself would have taken Jones.

"[You need] pressure. Don't let him use that reach, try to close down the space with tons of pressure," Ortiz told Fighters Only.

"Use my strength, use my wrestling. An injury-free Tito Ortiz is very, very dangerous, and Ryan Bader was the last guy who got a close up of that one. When I'm injury-free, I'm very dangerous.

"If I was the same guy, but without the surgeries, then I'd still be the champion. When I look back at my loss to [Randy] Couture, that's when I had my first back problem. I was suffering right through that fight camp, and I suffered for seven years with that back problem."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.