UFC 148 Pre-Fight Press Conference #2 Recap: Griffin Rushes in for His Final Staredown with Ortiz
The presser for the co-main event for UFC 148 went on as planned and flew by pretty smoothly without as much drama compared to the initial forum that involved the cosmic opposites; UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva and title challenger Chael Sonnen. Had these two been included, the rest of the fighters would surely have been out-staged by the back-and-forth banter.
This assembly included four fighters who were part of the co-main events heading towards the culmination spectacle of the night. These were in the forms of elite strikers Patrick “The Predator” Cote and Cung Le who were first called up to the stage.
CUNG LE VS PATRICK COTE
Cote was welcomed back into the UFC after a year-long hiatus. When asked about the call to fight back in the famous fight organization, he instantly packed his bags and began training against the man beside him in the person of Hollywood superstar Le. Cote claimed to have been a fan of his counterpart’s fighting styles and was an honor to fight such a talented and creative martial artist.
Le opened his interview by stating that his upcoming fight is such a challenge considering that he is entering the match as the underdog with analysts and fight statisticians predicted a betting ratio of 2:1 in favor of “The Predator”. The Vietnamese kickboxer continued that the adjustments he had to do in preparing for the battle was really drastic as his former opponent, Rich Franklin, has a completely different set of fighting techniques as against Cote. Regardless though, Le was very thankful to his team who constantly pushes him to overcome challenges he faces.
Stepping away from the fighters’ training camps, gameplans for the match, and all other repetitious questions that ultimately don’t really matter once the cage door closes, Le was asked about his broken nose which he had endured under the fancy work of Wanderlei Silva in his UFC debut. Funny as it sounded, Le humored the audience by actually thanking (Wandy) Silva for allowing the actor/stunt choreographer to have another nose job (this injury being his third broken nose in the sport).
Hey thanks, Wanderlei! Thanks (because) I got a free nose job!
When the deadly knock-out combatants exited the stage, it was time for the fighters involved in the co-main event to enter. Before Forrest Griffin entered, “The People’s Champ” Tito Ortiz made his way to his final press conference which had some sentimental moments as most of the questions revolved around the pioneer’s historic run in the company from when it started.
FORREST GRIFFIN VS TITO ORTIZ
Aside from sharing his inspirational learnings along the way, Ortiz came to terms and found inner peace that this was really his last match and would definitely not return to fight another day. Fixed on the idea, he revealed that a pending offer to do commentary was at his doorstep from ESPN. Though he has not agreed on taking the proposition nor given it much thought altogether, he further added that he would rather continue to work for the company to further promote the sport and make it better.
Prior to this presser, Griffin had vaguely stated in an interview that should he lose to Ortiz, he would “retire from life”. Puzzled by that claim, Griffin spread some light on the matter.
Well (expletive) if I said it, it must be true. There you go. I’ll stand behind it.
Griffin went on by explaining how he got the idea from the future hall of famer who is putting everything on this fight just to get the final “W” of his career. Griffin expounded that if Ortiz was willing to die for this sport, so should he. Griffin narrated that he was never much of anything in the course of his life and should he be remembered for something, then it should be because of his fighting.
What did that actually mean? Does this mean that if he loses this Saturday night, he’ll also retire from the sport which IS his life as well? We’ll find out this 7th of July then.
Jon Anik asked Ortiz about his level of motivation heading into this Saturday’s co-main event to get the final victory to cap off his retirement. Ortiz breathed heavy and thought deeply before he placed the microphone to his lips.
With great sacrifice comes great reward. I’ve sacrificed my body; I’ve sacrificed my mind; I sacrificed being away from my family for nine weeks for this camp. For fifteen years. I fought to get to where I am today. Forrest is another fighter: bleeds like me, breaks like any other person. I’m going to do my job Saturday night and that’s get a “W”.
The audience, like a wave hitting the shoreline, began clapping to the “champ’s” battle cry.
As the floor was opened to the media for questions, several questions were asked of Ortiz (that could already be the good start of a biography book if you ask me), but the one that struck the hearts of many, including myself, was when he was asked what he would miss about the UFC once it was out of his system.
Probably the one thing I’d miss the most is walking out. Feeling the energy of the fans. That electricity in the air. There’s nothing like it at all. That’ll be one of the biggest things I’ll miss: my fans in the crowd.
There were more questions that followed and one memorable (and my favorite) one was when Ariel Helwani, one of the MMA media anchors, asked Ortiz a query. The interviewee, in turn, responded by not liking the interviewer and would not entertain his question with an answer altogether. For a moment there, the infamous “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” villain resurfaced, but instead of a disgusted crowd reacting to Ortiz’s disregard, a pleased mob clamored for the funny disrespectful antic.
The media man pleaded for a follow-up question, a better question, even asked for assistance from Griffin as well as the master of ceremonies, Jon Anik. All efforts fell on deaf ears which forced the man to sit and allow another to ask his/her question.
Whatever happens, Tito Ortiz has truly taken the sport and the UFC to heights we never imagined it would have been today. With his legacy that molded what used to be deemed as a bloodsport human cock-fighting battle, the UFC owes a great debt to the future hall of famer who rides into the sunset looking for his final victory in his final match on Saturday. Ortiz for life!
Below is the video that showed a face-off that happened right after the questions were over. Griffin rushes in to the staredown as Ortiz didn’t back down from his adversary.
Check the video below for the full coverage of the co-main event press conference for UFC 148 and to hear all the good stuff only from “The People’s Champ”, Tito Ortiz himself.
For the freshest and up-to-the-minute updates on UFC 148, do check Nerdles.com for “UFC 148: Silva Vs Sonnen 2″ as the actions happens at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 7, Saturday at 7PM/PT, 10PM/ET. Follow me on Twitter (@DJHeinie666) or wait for my play-by-play feature article to know latest.
Photo Courtesy of the UFC