Coleman warns Ortiz: “I won’t be used as a stepping stone by anybody”

MMABay EXCLUSIVELY sat down with former UFC heavyweight champion, Mark “The Hammer” Coleman tonight to discuss his recently announced showdown with Tito Ortiz, warning “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” that he won’t be used as a stepping stone by any man.

We asked Mark how he felt about stepping in against a man recognised worldwide as one of the most charismatic fighters to ever compete.

“I think that’s absolutely perfect, I’m ecstatic. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. I’ve been given this kind of opportunity in the past and this is one I need to take advantage of. This is my chance to take everything he has.”

“I think it’s gonna be a hell of a fight, I think it’s gonna be a war. Neither one of us likes to lose, I actually hate to lose. There’s a good chance this fight could end up on its feet and I feel like my stand-up skills will be ready to win in that area. I don’t know if I can knock him out but I definitely think I can beat Tito. I definitely feel like I can win this fight. There are no guarantees in this game but I hit really hard and if I connect I could knock him out.”

When asked whether he felt Ortiz could be suffering from octagon rust when he returns to action, Coleman said:

“I have no idea where he’s at with his training and with his octagon rust. I know I’ve taken time off and gotten back in there and it’s not affected me so I don’t think that’s gonna make a lot of difference. I think he’s gonna be ready to go and it’ll take one of my best efforts to beat him.”

When asked about Tito’s recent comments that he was maybe a “warm-up fight”, Coleman warned:

“People have made that mistake in the past and thought they were going to use me as a stepping stone and they ended up getting stepped on and it set their career back pretty far and that’s what I do. I won’t be used as a stepping stone by anybody, especially not Tito Ortiz. I’m not gonna be his stepping stone anyway. Tito’s career’s gonna take a step back after this fight is over.”

“The Hammer” also revealed to MMABay that he was still awaiting confirmation from the UFC about the date of the fight, although UFC 106 on November 21st in Las Vegas, Nevada seems to be the most likely.

By Michael Pepper.