Mixed martial arts (MMA) is unique in that, you can be a decidedly mediocre fighter and still become one of the sports stars. You can do this by simply having a big mouth.
If you have a big mouth and have the skill to back it up? Then you can be a superstar, a certifiable legend that will never be forgotten.
This is what Tito Ortiz has come to represent. Sure, his one win in five years isn't exactly a benchmark for his career but there's no denying that his act helped grow the sport into what it is today.
His act being "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" who talked big and went out and backed it up inside the Octagon.
Excellence will always be imitated and Ortiz believes his upcoming UFC 133 opponent, Rashad Evans, has tried to take over the role he once played. Except he's not backing up his talk with his performance inside the cage.
Here's what Tito wrote in his blog at ESPN:
I invented this role of the s--- talker in the UFC. I was the first guy to do this and blow up because of it. I talked a ton of s--- about a lot of guys before fights to get attention and to establish my name and my Punishment brand.
But I backed it up. All those title wins, being champion for longer than anyone else ... and even the fights I did lose, I still backed up what I had been saying.
Now Rashad's taking over that role. He talks a lot of crap, but I don't think Rashad backs his big mouth up like I did mine. Rashad isn't me of course ... I am the longest-reigning UFC 205-pound champion ever, and he couldn't hold on to the belt for one defense.
He talked a lot about my friend Quinton Jackson, but he didn't want to fight when it was time to go into the Octagon.
Now he's making a big mistake talking about me being "lucky" to beat Bader and get this fight with him. His ass can't cash this check.
Evans would surely disagree with this claim, especially seeing as he's lost just one time in 17 trips to the cage. That loss, to Lyoto Machida for the light heavyweight title, just so happened to be one of the most devastating defeats in UFC history.
Still, Evans track record in the UFC is nearly unmatched amongst his contemporaries and if he can manage to take out Ortiz, avenging that draw back in 2007 in the process, the proverbial torch will be passed.
But he is coming off a layoff that's lasted for over a year and a knee injury during that time. He's been talking the talk, on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia, it will be time to walk the walk.
Can he do it? Will he do it?