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UFC 71: Tito Ortiz vs. Keith Jardine -- UPDATE

ufc 71 tito ortiz vs keith yardine
We passed along news last week that Tito Ortiz would make his first trek back to the Octagon since losing to Chuck Liddell at UFC 66 against either Rashad Evans or Keith Jardine at UFC 71 on May 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

To read more about that click here.

Both Greg Jackson-trained 205-pound hopefuls and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) alums are hot and will look to continue those streaks in 2007. is now reporting, however, that Jardine is perhaps the Ortiz sweepstakes winner.

If accurate, it would put the former New Mexico bounty hunter up against his toughest challenge to date. It would also leave Evans open to fight, hopefully, a big-name guy in the division.

An Ortiz-Jardine showdown is somewhat of a clash of styles: Ortiz prefers the ground and pound, while Jardine unleashes insane low kicks and likes to keep it standing.

As promised, we're back with and update. And, apologies for not finding this clip two hours earlier.

Anyway, Ortiz confirms the Jardine bout in a recent interview with

Here's a snip from Ortiz:

"My heart is really in fighting right now andIm in fighting mode. I want to keep going with Punishment Athletics.Im a business man then a fighter and then actor man but fighter firstand foremost now. My next fight is in May against Keith Jardine."

In the interview, which is a relatively long read, Ortiz mentions that he wants to fight three times this year. He also wouldn't mind fighting Chuck Liddell five or six times or "however many times it takes."

And as for other opponents, Ortiz wants the best because he feels he is the best, including some big-name PRIDE FC studs.

Here's another snip:

"I would like to fight Chuck, I will fight him 5 or 6 times however many times it takes. Im confident now that I stood with him, and Im confident I can fix the mistakes I made. First thing I think of is who I have to fight to get back to the top and be in contention. I will crush anyone in the LHW division. I only lost to the top guys in the game Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock and Chuck Liddell. I still have a bright future ahead and my body feels good. I have no injuries my knee is great and my back is great. Shogun Rua would be an awesome fight, Id love to fight him, Wanderlei just lost and Id love to fight him again. Dan Henderson would be great. I will fight anyone and make it exciting for the fans. I just want to keep people buying pay per views and keep the fans entertained, me and chuck did it right and broke records for pay per view buys. I will stomp anyone at 205, I am in the top 3 in the world and I will beat Shogun, Henderson and Silva if I get the chance."

Big words -- as usual -- from Ortiz. And, if that's his thinking then he should have no problem dispatching of Jardine at UFC 71.

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