Former UFC Middleweight juggernaut Anderson Silva will be taking on former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz in a boxing match.
The fight is the co-feature before Oscar De La Hoya faces Vitor Belfort in the main event. Two other boxing matches are former heavyweight champion David Haye vs. Joe Fournier and Andy Vences vs. Jono Carroll in a battle of 130-pound fringe contenders.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) August 17, 2021
“I am very excited to have the opportunity, along with my team, to get in the ring against Tito Ortiz on Sept. 11 with Triller Fight Club, who are really shaking things up in the combat sports world,” Silva said.
Silva meets Ortiz in a 195-pound boxing bout under the Triller Fight Club promotional banner on Sept. 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The fight airs on pay-per-view and will be a professional one slated for eight rounds in 10-ounce gloves.
However, Ortiz is already agitated by the 195 lb weight limit imposed on him. Having never weighed that in his entire career, the former UFC light heavyweight champion isn’t sure how he’ll hit the mark fight night.
“I appreciate this opportunity, Triller, Anderson Silva for finally agreeing to the weight that was mandatory for me to make 195,” Ortiz said on a pre-fight media call.
“So I’m literally trying to cut my leg off to make that weight, and I’ll do it. I’ve never missed a weight my whole career, but it just shows that I’m that focused. But again, it shows that Anderson, he respects the power, so I’m excited. I respect the man as a fighter, but I kind of lost a lot of respect for him just for not fighting me at 200 pounds.”
Another highlight reel KO for the Silva family 😤
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 16, 2021
Ortiz’s convinced that Silva, who’s competed at 205 pounds on a few occasions in the Octagon, shows a sign of weakness by asking him to drain himself by cutting weight.
However, Silva fought mainly at 185lbs, where he became a multiple-time UFC champ. Logically, 195lbs seems right in the middle.
Wow… what an elbow from Anderson Silva 😍 pic.twitter.com/mY4xdE84XZ
— Roots of Combat (@RootsOfCombat) August 15, 2021
“I’ve never made 195 in my whole career of 24 years, and I’m going to try like hell to make it, and I will make it. But at the same time, I just kind of lost a little respect for the guy. Someone who’s been a great world champion, he’s fought at 205 over six times, he’s fought for the world title at 205.
“But once again, it shows that he respects my power and he’s trying to make me weak. But hey, as I do in every one of my fights, I’m going to make it exciting, I’m going to fight, and I’m going to make this vicious.”
Ortiz is a big underdog heading into his fight with Silva, coming off a fantastic performance against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Still, Ortiz says the betting line only fuels his motivation to beat the odds and ensure that he makes the weight, so he doesn’t have to give up a percentage of his purse.
Here are the opening odds for Anderson Silva vs. Tito Ortiz in a boxing match:
Anderson Silva -500 (1/5)
Tito Ortiz +300 (3/1)
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) August 11, 2021
“I’m excited because Anderson is one of the best in the world. I’ve always wanted to fight Anderson. I’ve always had respect for him, but I understand how his team is going to take control of what weight he should be fighting at.
“But like I said, he’s fought at 205 before, and I thought he’d be a gentleman and make it at least 200 knowing that I used to be the middleweight world champion myself, and I used to make 199, and that was the weight class. When UFC moved the weight up to 205, that was because of me.
“They asked me what would be the perfect weight for light heavyweight, and I said 205 pounds, so that’s why they made it. But once again, I understand what their theory is behind it and what they want to do. I really don’t look at odds. I just look at the factor of how am I going to be when I step into the ring and compete against Anderson Silva, one of the greatest middleweights to ever grace the Octagon.”
The Silva-Ortiz and Haye-Fournier fights will be sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission, meaning they will be actual bouts, not exhibitions. Silva and Ortiz will fight eight two-minute rounds, and Haye and Fournier will fight eight three-minute rounds.
“Big” John McCarthy, a former longtime UFC referee, will officiate Silva-Ortiz.
In June, Silva, 46, scored an upset over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., just his third pro boxing match, then entered negotiations for a fight with YouTube personality Logan Paul.
Silva holds the record for longest title reign in promotion history at 2,457 days. He is one of the most recognizable draws in MMA history, with 18 headline appearances on UFC PPV. He suffered a fourth-round TKO defeat to Uriah Hall in October — his seventh loss in his past nine appearances in the Octagon — and was released by the UFC one month later.
Ortiz will make his pro boxing debut at 46, nearly ten years after his final UFC fight.