A decade ago, UFC Hall of Fame fighter Tito Ortiz was a dominant force at 205 pounds in his mid-20s with an exceptionally bright future ahead of him in the Octagon. Fast forward to today, and current light heavyweight champ Jon Jones shares those same characteristics. Another aspect they have in common relates to consecutive title-defenses.
Jones tied Ortiz’s record last weekend at five in a row by beating Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 and will almost certainly enter his next effort as a significant favorite, putting him in a fairly good position as far as passing Ortiz’s mark.
The former “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” spoke to The MMA Hour about Jones’ run with the belt where Ortiz showed no ill will towards the 25-year old superstar.
“If I’m under a person who holds the record, I think Jon Jones is the man [it should] be. He’s very classy. He’s respectful, soft spoken, and he’s a true champ,” said Ortiz.
Ortiz also explained he doesn’t expect Jones’ streak to end at six either, explaining, “I really don’t see anybody to beat him. I don’t think anybody can really get close to him. His mindset is perfect. I think it’s how a champion should be.”
“As long as no personal stuff happens to him, I don’t think he’ll have much problem with anybody, just because of his wrestling. Wrestling has always been a dominating force in UFC,” he concluded.
Though Ortiz may have a good deal of appreciation for Jones’ abilities and success, that doesn’t mean he is willing to fully pass on the mantle of all-time greatest. Asked how things would go down were he and Jones to meet with both in their primes, Ortiz confidently joked, “I think I’d dominate him.”
Of course, examining their records and overall skill-sets, it’s easy to dispute Ortiz’s take. The since-retired Ortiz’s wins with the belt came against Yuki Kondo, Elvis Sinosic, Vladimir Matyushenko, Evan Tanner, and Ken Shamrock. Comparably, the 18-1 Jones has beaten Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, and Quinton Jackson.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY