The expected return of legendary boxer Mike Tyson has sparked much intrigue from around the combat community, including former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz.
Tyson, 53, nearly broke the internet with a powerful sparring showcase earlier this month while hinting at a potential return to the boxing ring. Fans really didn’t know what to think about Tyson’s improbable comeback considering “Iron Mike” hasn’t fought professionally since 2005, but interest remained high. Tyson was even offered a $20 million contract to compete in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC).
Tyson has yet to officially announce a return date or opponent, which has left the door open for MMA veterans like Ortiz and even Ken Shamrock to throw their names into the mix.
Ortiz, 45, last competed against Alberto El Patron at Combate Americas 51 back in December, winning the catchweight contest via first-round submission (highlights HERE). It was the first fight for the former UFC light heavyweight champion since knocking out Chuck Liddell in a trilogy bout that headlined Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy MMA event back in 2018.
Whether Ortiz is trying to score a big payday or remain relevant at this point in his career, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” posted the following message and photo to Instagram earlier this week campaigning for a “Legend vs. Legend” fight with Tyson.
“Legend Vs Legend on PPV! When are we doing it?” wrote Ortiz.
As you may have gathered by reading the title of this article, Ortiz’s challenge to Tyson hasn’t gone over well with the combat community, especially when it comes to former UFC contender and current ESPN MMA analyst Chael Sonnen. Remember, Sonnen and Ortiz fought each other at Bellator 170 back in 2017, with Ortiz winning via first-round submission. It was Ortiz’s last “real fight” as a professional if you consider his clashes with Liddell and El Patron more of novelty acts.
Sonnen discussed Ortiz’s callout of Tyson during a recent episode of his Beyond the Fight podcast (shown above). Let’s just say “The Bad Guy” left nothing to the imagination. Check it out below:
“Oh the gift of Tito Ortiz just keeps on giving. So, there is something that the kids call Instagram. Now Instagram is largely a photo-based social media outlet. You can include text, but if you don’t include a photo or a video you are basically misusing Instagram and you should just take that over to Twitter. Ok fine. Now Tito puts out a picture, and it is a side by side with Mike Tyson and Tito on the other side. Tito is shirtless, flexing his abs, captions: ‘Legend vs Legend let’s do this on pay-per-view’ exclamation point. Ok let’s start at the beginning. Anybody of any age, but particularly a grown ass 44-year-old man that goes on to Instagram shirtless while flexing his abs is a little bit of a dork. For one. Start with that.
“Now let’s move on to the text. ‘Legend vs Legend’. Ok so I am looking at ‘Iron Mike’ and saying ok that is one legend but the versus part I am a little bit confused by because the only other guy in the photo is Tito. So it’s like Tito, who are you bringing? Are you bringing Tank Abbott along? Are you bringing Randy Couture? Are you bringing King Arthur? Are you bringing Batman? Like who is coming that is the other legend here? Oh and by the way Tito, your final text said ‘Let’s do it on pay-per-view’ exclamation point. Do I need to be the one to inform you that pay-per-view no longer exists? Pay-per-view nowhere in the world is a thing anymore. It is all done through digital platforms. Even if the have a pay wall that they call a pay-per-view, it is not the same thing that you referred too, which is the pay-per-views you used to be on back in 2006. The world has just gone to a different place.
“Calling out Mike Tyson on pay-per-view is one step away from saying ‘Let’s put this in VHS and rent it to the world at Blockbuster. It is two steps away from saying ‘Me and Iron Mike are going to go do something and follow along on a transistor radio. It is very antiquated and the fact that you know that makes you a doofus. But, you also didn’t say what it was you were going to do. You just said ‘Let’s do it’. So before the big reveal that of course you want this to be an MMA match, but ‘Iron Mike’ only does boxing, and then you have this back and forth that ultimately becomes your way out of it before we even get into that, it would have been incumbent upon you to say what it is that you want to do. Marketing 101 Tito. Identify yourself before your enemies do it for you. You gave me an easy door! You gave me an easy door to come and walk all over you. I couldn’t even make this piece right now if you had the sense that God gave geese to come out and what rules were you and Mike going to contest. Are you guys arm wrestling? Are you in a bakeoff? Are we doing thumb wrestling? What exactly is going to happen here? You may be looking at this right now going ‘No Chael, I’m going to box him, that is what I was going to say’. Maybe you did, but you didn’t say it! You didn’t say it. Which allows me to come out and piss all over your idea. Why didn’t you say what you wanted to do? Oh by the way, I don’t believe you that ‘I was going to box him’. I don’t believe you. I think if you were going to box (Mike Tyson), you would have said it. I think you are rewriting your intent because I am calling you out on it. I think that you thought that you were going to be the one guy to lure 53-year-old Mike Tyson into a sport that he’s never done before called MMA. Which was never going to happen but seems like something you would still bring to the table at some point because you’re not very smart.”
What say you, Manics? Should Ortiz be considered for Tyson’s comeback fight? We think we know the answer but let’s have fun with this one.