“It really came down to them coming to me and saying ‘we think it’s time for you to retire,’ and I was pretty much speechless for the first couple minutes. I was like, are you serious right now? To tell you the truth, 100 percent, it kind of deflated me a little bit. I wasn’t motivated. It took me a little bit. Three months ago I wasn’t motivated. After they told me that, it was just hard for me to get in the gym. Then all of a sudden my fans who follow me on Twitter and on my website Punishment.com and motivate me and push me, and the trainers I have now, Jason Parilla and Mike Giovanni, have motivated me to become a better fight now, to get that hunger back, to get that motivation back to go and fight my heart out… I can’t make decisions for my future, only Dana can, only the UFC can. There’s nowhere else for me to go. There’s no more Strikeforce. There’s no more Pride. There’s no more WEC. Everything’s been bought by the UFC, and they’re doing a great job of promoting one of the best brands in the world and that’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship… I’ve been fighting for the UFC since day one, since my career began back in 1997, and I don’t plan on going anywhere else. If Dana thinks it’s time for me to bounce, and go somewhere else or hang up my gloves, I don’t feel like it, but if they feel like it, I have no choice. There isn’t much of a choice I can do, besides fight my ass off on Saturday night and get my hand raised to let everyone know that I’m not going anywhere.”

— Tito Ortiz talking to MMA Weekly about his future in the UFC and MMA

Tito Ortiz may have his back against the wall, but at least he controls his own destiny. If he wins Saturday night, he stays. If not, he probably gets cut. If Tito manages to keep his job though, Matt Mitrione is waiting in the wings — practically foaming at the mouth — for the opportunity to punch Tito in the face.

“I say Bader (wins) by sending that giant planet of (Ortiz’s) head straight into the atmosphere,” Mitrione said before launching into a short diatribe at Ortiz. “I’m so glad that d—–bag spent all that money sponsoring Christian Morecraft and then lost again. Just like your pride was lost, the person representing your company lost.

“You’re gonna lose again and get cut from the UFC. If for some reason you don’t get cut from the UFC, I already talked to (Joe) Silva. I would love to fight you. I’ll fight you at a catch weight. I will pull myself back to Ethiopian standards from back in the day and be as thin as possible, and I will punch you in that planet-sized dome of yours and send you packing finally and for good. Mr. Jameson, that was directed toward you.”

I’m not gonna lie, the prospect of that match-up kinda makes me want to root for Tito Saturday night.

Image via Esther Lin for MMA Fighting