Tito Ortiz is set to face Matt Hammill at UFC 121 this coming October 23 in California. While Hammill has won his last four outings, Ortiz is riding a four-fight string of poor results – three losses and one draw. Hence the “Bad Boy’s” earnest preparations for his upcoming challenge. You could even say he’s training like he’s demented. Indeed, not just like, but with Demente (means “demented” in Portuguese), the alias of Jiu-Jitsu black belt Ricardo Abreu, who breaks the news to GRACIEMAG.com:
How did the opportunity to help out in Tito’s prep work come about?
It was through Hermes França. I was with him in Portland and Tito called to ask Hermes if he had a heavy grappler. He already knew a bit about me and called on me right away. I’ve been here in the mountains (Big Bear, California) since Thursday, and I’m helping him with his ground game. His opponent is a wrestler, so we’re helping hum with his grappling. It’s awesome here!
What do you think of his ground game?
He’s good on the ground and surprised me. It’s different in MMA. We have a good foundation from Jiu-Jitsu, but there are some differences in MMA. You can’t expose you face much, for example. But he surprised me; the guy’s good on the ground and he’s really big! I feel our Jiu-Jitsu is coming along well, but we’re learning a lot to. Tito is a really technical guy, he’s way good!
Why train in Big Bear?
We’re at Oscar De La Hoya’s old house. As it’s high above sea level here, the fighters come up to train. When they go back down they have a lot more stamina. It’s not snowing, but it’s really cold. We train hard, run up the mountain and, since we’re not used to altitude, it’s rough.
What about your MMA debut, when will it be?
I had a fight deal, but I came over for a match at the UFC Fan Expo here in the United States and ended up sticking around. Some opportunities arose and the longer I stay here the more things happen and so as it happens I’m not training just for me. But I think by the end of the year I’ll make my debut.
Check out the card with Tito Ortiz:
Anaheim, California, USA
October 23, 2010
Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez
Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Shields
Diego Sanchez vs. Paulo Thiago
Matt Hamill vs. Tito Ortiz
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Brendan Schaub
Ryan Jensen vs. Court McGee
Patrick Cote vs. Tom Lawlor
Sam Stout vs. Paul Taylor
Mike Guymon vs. Daniel Roberts
Chris Camozzi vs. Dongi Yang
Jon Madsen vs. Gilbert Yvel