‘I Just Want to Keep My Health’

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When UFC Hall of Famer Chuck
Liddell
announced his intention to return to mixed martial arts
some eight years after three consecutive knockout losses ended his
Octagon run, there were plenty of concerns regarding the “Iceman’s”
health.

Recent
training footage
, including last week’s open workouts, did
little to quiet those concerns. Tito Ortiz, his
opponent in Golden Boy MMA’s main event Saturday night, is not
among those who are not worried about Liddell’s health and
safety.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion was clear about his
intentions when facing Liddell.

“I don’t care about his safety at all. I want to smash him,” Ortiz
told Sherdog.com. “I want to hurt him. That’s what he wants to do
to me. If he thinks he’s a big enough man, he’s an adult. If he
thinks he should fight, he should fight.”

Ortiz was quick to shoot down any talk of reconciliation with his
longtime rival and former training partner.

“I don’t care about burying the hatchet,” Ortiz said. “He ain’t my
buddy. He ain’t my friend. He showed his true colors. I know what
kind of person he is. It is what it is. I’m a loyal person. And I
don’t want to second question anybody.”

Additionally, his disdain for Liddell hasn’t waned since the
decades-old feud began. In fact, Ortiz intends for those emotions
to manifest themselves in the cage.

“When he’s knocked out unconscious, I’m going to try to hit him
again. I have no doubt in my mind that I’m going to try to hurt
him,” Ortiz said. “That is my goal. I know that’s maybe not the
right way to say that but that’s the way I feel. I want to try to
kill the guy. That’s how much I dislike him.”

Ortiz has had plenty of his own struggles with health over the
years, including a well-documented laundry list of surgeries and
ailments that have interrupted his 21-year career. Ortiz is
confident that his body is in good shape ahead of this weekend’s
contest, however. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” credited his
surgeon, Dr. William Smith, for making his 18-week camp as painless
as possible. Despite the clean bill of health and a potentially
lucrative paycheck, (Ortiz also reconfirmed his 30 percent cut of
the gate and pay-per-view sales), this is not the beginning of a
new run in MMA.

“I want to make this the last fight so I don’t need any more
surgeries…My kids want me to be done and I want to be done,”
Ortiz said. “These camps go on forever. Twenty-one years, there’s
not one other fighter in this world that’s been fighting for 21
years. I just want to keep my health. My body is still right. I’ve
worked really hard to be where I am today and I’m thankful for it.
I want to end it all right here on Saturday night with my hand
raised.”





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