Tito Ortiz still has another month of rehab before he can get back to training, but that doesn't mean he's not thinking about 2016 in the ring.
"I'm a machine, man. I'll be good. I'll be good in about a month. I'll fight this year, 100 percent," he recently told MMA Fighting.
Ortiz, 41, hasn't had a fight since losing to Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary back in September. It was the McGeary fight that was supposed to be Ortiz's road back to being champion, but since falling in a first round submission, he has readjusted his goals. Now, he just wants to give fans a good fight.
To do that, though, Ortiz is going to have to face off against some big names. The most likely candidate? A fight with legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. While Ortiz is definitely interested in squaring off against Fedor, it's something he has to work up to.
"I won't take Fedor my first fight," Ortiz said. "I'm coming off an injury, you know. I want a warm-up first. Let's do a warm-up first and let's make it a big warm-up, so that everyone wants to watch it."
One possible name to consider as a "warm-up?" Kimbo Slice.
"That's a pretty damn good name," Ortiz said.
Slice is scheduled to fight rival Dada 5000 on February 19 in Houston, but Ortiz won't be ready for a few months anyway.
No stranger to recovery, Ortiz has also undergone back and knee surgeries. His latest recovery is from yet another neck fusion. After almost 30 years in the sport, it's not unusual that a UFC Hall of Famer's body has taken such a beating — literally. But that doesn't mean anyone should count him out.
"One more month of rehab and then training," said Ortiz. "I had bone spurs removed. The pain is gone. I'll be good to go."