• UFC 148

Tito Ortiz v Jon Jones 'would be like Ali v Tyson'

ESPN staff
July 4, 2012

Tito Ortiz has clarified to ESPN recent comments he made regarding Jon Jones, insisting he has nothing but respect for the reigning UFC light-heavyweight champion.

Ortiz bows out of the sport this weekend when he fights Forrest Griffin at UFC 148, and he does so as a Hall-of-Famer and as the owner of the record for most successful title defences at 205lbs.

In a recent interview Ortiz claimed that, if injuries had not taken their toll, nobody would be able to beat him. Those quotes led to the conclusion that Tito believes he would beat Jones in his prime, and while Ortiz admits he does believe that - he insists it would be a legendary battle.

"Jon Jones is a great champion, but me in my prime, I was devastating. I was vicious. Nobody could stop me. Of course I could beat him in my prime," Ortiz told ESPN.

"Jon Jones is in his prime now, so you compare it to something like Ali v Tyson in boxing. You'll never know because it's two different generations.

"I don't ever want to talk smack about Jones because he's a great role model of the sport. But in my prime, I wouldn't count myself out - that's for sure.

"I would never disrespect him. It'd be a very close fight, a decision. But in my prime I was the best in the world. The goal for Jones right now is to beat my record for title defences.

"If there is one man who can do it, I'd like it to be Jon Jones."

To keep up with the next chapter in Tito Ortiz's life, and his extensive charity work with St Jude's Children's Hospital, follow the Huntington Beach Bad Boy on Twitter using @titoortiz

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