June 29, 2007
Tito shoots his mouth off... again
By By JOSE RODRIGUEZ
The only thing mightier than Tito Ortiz's ground and pound, is his mouth.
On the receiving end of his latest verbal volley is, not surprisingly, his upcoming opponent 'Sugar' Rashad Evans.
But Evans says this time, the notorious trash-talker may have crossed the line.
Taking a page out of the Don Imus 'how-to-get-fired-in-a-heartbeat' playbook, Ortiz recently wrote in an underground web forum that African-American fighter Evans "will be my nappy headed ho."
"He crosses the line and those comments are offensive," Evans told Sun Media this week.
Ortiz said he meant nothing personal by the crack, which cost CBS broadcaster Imus his job when he made the same comment about a U.S. college basketball team.
"It was just a joke to get a laugh out of my fans," says Ortiz, whose UFC record is 16-5.
Evans says the joke will be lost on throngs of blacks who will feel insulted.
"Even if you're saying it in a joking around manner, a lot of people don't joke like that," said Evans who is undefeated at 15-0 in his Ultimate Fighting Championship career but will face his most formidable challenge in Ortiz in Sacramento on July 7.
" It makes him look like a clown. My uncle called me and he said 'You gotta whoop that boy's ass. You gotta whoop his ass for all the years of slavery.' It rubs some people wrong."
Evans took a couple of shots of his own at Ortiz saying he thought the 'Huntington Beach Bad Boy' lost his fight against Forrest Griffin last year despite the judges giving him the decision.
Overall, says Evans, Ortiz isn't the fighter he once was.
"He's just distracted in a lot of areas," says Evans.
"Once you start reading your own press clippings, that's the end of anybody."
The pair will be one of the feature fights at 'UFC 73: Stacked' in California.
The event will see two belts up for grabs as lightweight champ Sean 'The Muscle Shark' Sherk takes on Brazilian powerhouse Hermes Franca and defending champ Anderson 'Spider' Silva battles Nate 'The Great' Marquardt for middleweight supremacy.
The card will also feature the UFC debut of Pride heavyweight star Antonio Rodrigo 'Minotauro' Nogueira who will take on Heath 'The Texas Crazy Horse' Herring.
• My favourite TV station got some international kudos for one of its ads. The Fight Network won a gold medal at the Cannes Lions Festival for a 30-second TV commercial featuring an "Average Joe' character who hurls insults and taunts at strangers and passers-by in an attempt to provoke a confrontation. The hilarious ad can be viewed at: www.lookingforafight.com.
• BJ Penn pocketed himself a cool $100,000 in his defeat of Jens Pulver during The Ultimate Fighter 5 finale last week. The two coaches headlined a card that saw Nate Diaz take this season's title and earn himself a UFC contract. Diaz earned $16,000 for his defeat of Manny Gamburyan.
• As you read here last week, the UFC has now confirmed Mirko 'Cro Cop' Filipovic will fight Cheick Congo at UFC 75 in London this September.
For the latest mixed-martial arts news, check out The Scrapyard blog at canoe.ca