“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz arrived onto the MMA scene a brash, controversial 22-year-old with little to no concern for law and order. He represented chaos and anarchy. He was the one guy in the room who wasn’t afraid to give a middle finger to authority.
Some people loved him for it, and others hated him for it. But we all respected him. For all of the talk surrounding Chael Sonnen and Conor McGregor, Ortiz was the first of his kind in MMA — a bona fide star who did as much damage with a microphone as he did with his fists.
This was the same guy who dug graves when he stopped opponents, laughed Ken Shamrock into a frenzy and wore a t-shirt that said “Dana White is my b—h” at a UFC weigh-in.
Nearly two decades into his Hall of Famer career, Ortiz stands alone as the last relevant fighter from a dying era. The 40-year-old legend is slated to meet Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary on Saturday night in the headliner for Bellator MMA and Glory’s Dynamite 1 event.
The thud of Father Time’s fists pounding against the door can’t be ignored for Ortiz, who hopes to postpone the retirement talk with another world title victory. As for McGeary, the undefeated English champion will be looking to add the biggest name yet to his win column.
The official weigh-ins for Dynamite 1 were held on Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Both McGeary and Ortiz were on target for the main attraction.
During an interview with MMAjunkie.com, Ortiz claimed he is no longer being influenced by money. The former UFC light heavyweight champ’s only goal at this point of his career is to be world champion one more time.
He echoed those comments when speaking with Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith at the weigh-ins:
“When I was champion — I was defending my world title for a fifth time — I was very confident in my whole camp. I fought Randy Couture. I lost to Randy Couture each and every round. It just got deeper and deeper each round. History repeats itself. I’m here. Liam’s never fought anybody like me. I’m here to entertain each and every one of you fans. I’m going for war, and I’m going to die for my cause in that cage right there. My cause is to be a world champion again.”
McGeary admitted he was star struck the first time he stood next to Ortiz. However, he won’t allow those feelings to get in the way of his mission on Saturday night. There will be no last hurrah in Ortiz’s future as far as McGeary is concerned.
“He said I’ve never fought anyone like him before. Man, he’s going to find out. I’m going to go at him, and I’m going to fight him,” McGeary told Smith.
In many ways, Dynamite 1 is an unprecedented event for all of combat sports, as it combines the world of MMA and kickboxing into a single event. The Bellator cage and Glory kickboxing ring will sit across from each other in one of the most ambitious fight cards in recent memory.
Glory contenders Saulo Cavalari and Zack Mwekassa will lead the way on the kickboxing side of things in a bout for the vacant light heavyweight title.
Bellator welterweights Paul Daley and Fernando Gonzalez will be ditching the four ounce gloves and trying their hand at kickboxing.
Along with the cross-promotional event, there will also be a Pride FC-style four-man tournament going on in Bellator’s light heavyweight division.
The participants include Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, Linton Vassell, Emmanuel Newton and former UFC contender Phil Davis, who will be making his Bellator debut. By the end of the night, one man will stand as the next contender for the Bellator light heavyweight title.
The full results from Friday’s weigh-ins are listed below.
Main Card (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)
Liam McGeary (204.8) vs. Tito Ortiz (204.6)
(Glory) Saulo Cavalari (208.8) vs. Zack Mwekassa (207.2)
Mike Bronzoulis (155.4) vs. Josh Thomson (155.4)
(Glory) Paul Daley (170.4) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (175.6)
(Glory) Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez (120.8) vs. Hadley Griffith (121.4)
Phil Davis (205.8) vs. Emanuel Newton (204)
Muhammed Lawal (204) vs. Linton Vassell (205)
Preliminary Card (Spike.com, 6:30 p.m. ET)
James Terry (171) vs. Carlos Rocha (170)
Matt Ramirez (126) vs. Josh Paiva (126)
(Glory) Serhiy Adamchuck (143.8) vs. Anvar Boynazarov (141.4)
Gabe Carrasco (135.4) vs. Joe Neal (135.6)
Adam Piccolotti (155.8) vs. Salvador Becerra (156)
Thomas Diagne (145.6) vs. Mike Malott (145.2)
Francis Carmont (205) vs. Anthony Ruiz (205.4)
(Glory) Jose Palacios (145.2) vs. TJ Arcengal (145.6)
Nick Pica (186) vs. Mauricio Alonso (185)
Victor Jones (145.5) vs. David Blanco (146)
Brandon Hester (185.2) vs. DeMarco Villalona (186)