Ortiz Responds to Botched Press Conference: Focus is on Cyborg’s Future
Last Friday Tito Ortiz held a press conference to announce the future for the highest-profile fighter he manages, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. He began the press conference reiterating his recent statement that it would be impossible for Cyborg to cut to 135 lbs by having the fighter step onto the scale. In “fighting shape,” as Ortiz put it, Santos weighs 160 lbs. He thanked the UFC for handling Cyborg’s release in a professional manner, and then Ortiz announced the matchup between Santos and Ediane Gomes on Invicta’s April 5th.
Of course, most of the MMA world did not focus on this. Rather, the discussion has centered on the disappointing close of the Rousey-Cyborg drama, and on Tito Ortiz’s shaky public speaking. Undoubtedly he stumbled a bit, mispronouncing his fighter’s name and mixing his words a bit. Following the press conference, which aired live on AXSTV, he joined Ariel Helwani in an interview on the “MMA Hour.” Tito answered questions about the conference with the following statement:
“Yes, I’m happy, just because I wanted to let (everyone) know the future of Cris Cyborg and what she is going to be doing. That was my main goal, just letting people know what she is going to be doing. But, in general? No, not really. I think I got some work to do, but, you know, (I) set up the whole press conference myself, literally. From the stage, the podium to the banners to the PR, press, everything, the people being there, I kind of put a little too much on my plate. And to go live TV on AXS television, this is as nervous as I’ve ever been with anything I’ve ever done with anything about mixed martial arts and I was so nervous because instead of holding my career, I’m holding someone else’s career. I’ll get better in time, as Dana White said. I’ll get better. I just got to do a little more work and just make sure to get more comfortable on live television. I’m just so used to doing it during fights. You don’t have nervousness after fights because your emotions are high. But making sure you say the right things for people to understand you, it’s going to take a little work for me I guess. It’s just time for me to slow down and explore exactly what I’m trying to say. It’s going to take work and I will get better.”
Much of the attention dedicated to Ortiz stems from the notoriety of his career and his reputation for talking in and out of the cage. However, his first statement speaks a lot of truth. His intention was “to let [everyone] know the future of Cris Cyborg.” This press conference was not at all about Tito Ortiz. In fact, despite Cyborg’s shirt sought to provoke Rounda Rousey with some profanity, this press conference was not about the highly desired fight between the two biggest stars of women’s MMA.
No, this fight was about the future of Cris “Cyborg” Santos. And the future is not as bleak as people may think after her release from Zuffa. Ediane Gomes, coming off four straight wins, will bring tough jiu jitsu against Cyborg in a fight that will certainly be high energy. And of course we cannot forget, before Rousey’s rise to the top at 135 lbs, Cyborg was the dominant figure of women’s MMA. No matter where or who she faces in the future, one thing is certain: Cyborg will come to fight with the same intensity and fury that first made her the face of women’s MMA.