Ortiz wants some July 4 fireworks

MMA fighter, Tito Ortiz  at the UFC presser Dec., 8, 2011. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)\

MMA fighter, Tito Ortiz at the UFC presser Dec., 8, 2011. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)\

NEIL SPRINGER, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:01 PM ET

Tito Ortiz has a date in mind for his final MMA fight.

The former UFC light-heavyweight champion recently told website Middle Easy that he would like to wrap up his career on the July 4 weekend.

Over the years the UFC has promoted fight cards that coincide with Independence Day in the U.S.

“Hopefully Fourth of July weekend I will be fighting my last fight and I will be done,” Ortiz said. “It’s time to walk away.”

Following his first-round TKO loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 140 in Toronto last month, the newly ordained ‘People’s Champ’ admitted he has one fight left on his current contract. Since he made his UFC debut on May 30, 1997, Ortiz hopes to reach his 15-year anniversary with world’s largest MMA promotion.

When pressed for a potential opponent, Ortiz threw out a couple of familiar names.

“Forrest (Griffin), and I know everyone would love to see me against Chuck (Liddell),” Ortiz said. “I’ll sit down with Lorenzo (Fertitta) and Dana (White) next week. Let’s make a fight, my last fight and let’s make it memorable.”

SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER: OVEREEM VS DOS SANTOS

The UFC is targeting a summer showdown between heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and No. 1 contender Alistair Overeem.

During Tuesday’s debut episode of UFC Today on Fuel TV, company president Dana White confirmed the mid-year bout, but said an exact date and venue have yet to be determined.

“Hopefully this summer,” White said on the program. “This summer is probably when it’s going to go down.”

Overeem earned a shot at the title with his first-round destruction of Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 last Friday. But following a crazy year that saw him booted from the Stirkeforce heavyweight tournament due to injury, cut from the organization all together after a contract dispute, hired by the UFC, and sued by his former management team, Golden Glory, the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix champion will take a break before cashing in his title shot.

Meanwhile, dos Santos immediately went under the knife to repair an injured knee following his championship win over Cain Velasquez in November and needs time to get back into fighting shape.

SILVA FREE TO FIGHT AGAIN

Thiago Silva has officially served his one-year suspension.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Brandon Vera at UFC 125 in Las Vegas, Jan. 1, 2011, Silva was served with a formal complaint from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for supplying a urine sample that was “inconsistent with human urine” during his pre-fight drug test.

The Brazilian light-heavyweight appeared at a NSAC hearing three months later and not only admitted to supplying a synthetic urine sample, but also to twice taking a prescription steroid during his training camp. As a result, Silva’s fight licence was revoked for 12 months, he was fined $33,750 and the bout with Vera was ruled a no contest.

“I just want to apologize for what I did,” Silva told the NSAC. “I did what I did because my back was very, very bad a couple months (before the fight). I had not fought for one year. I was completely broke. I have a family. People depend on my money. I was desperate to do something.”

He is now free to apply for a fighter’s licence anywhere in the U.S., but would have to appear before the NSAC if he hopes to compete in the state again.

JARDINE FIGHTS AT NEW WEIGHT

Former UFC light-heavyweight Keith Jardine will make his 185-pound debut Saturday, when he challenges Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in Las Vegas.

The two will headline Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine, which features a co-main event between Adlan Amagov and Robbie Lawler. Canadian fans can catch the event on Super Channel 2 at 10 p.m., ET.

Though he’s riding a three-fight undefeated streak, Jardine is 2-7-1 in his last 10 fights. His most recent appearance saw him take a one-sided beating from Gegard Mousasi in April, but the judges inexplicably declared the bout a draw due to a foul by Mousasi in the first round.

The bout marks Rockhold’s first title defence since winning the belt via unanimous decision against Ronaldo (Jacare) Souza in September. The Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt is riding a seven-fight win streak since suffering a TKO loss to Tony Rubalcava in only his second pro bout over four years ago.


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