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Tito Ortiz: “I’ve Been in Jon Jones’ Shoes Before”
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz discussed Jon Jones testing positive for cocaine, fighting and poker to kick off the second day of the PCA.
While the event was announced well in advance, the question on everyone’s mind didn’t exist until this morning. Earlier today, the story that current UFC light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, tested positive for cocaine broke.
Jones succesfully defended his title against Daniel Cormier on Saturday but tested positive for cocaine before the bout. Jones will now check into a drug treatment center.
“I’m dumbfounded, I just found out this morning,” Ortiz said.
“It just doesn’t compute that as a professional athlete put yourself in that environment when you’re one of the greatest champions to ever grace the octagon.
"Why would you put yourself in that situation?"
Ortiz: "It's up to him to be a man and take care of himself"
Ortiz himself had problems with drugs in his youth and both his parents were addicted to drugs. That cycle stopped for Ortiz when he found success while wrestling in high school.
Ortiz then continued to wrestle in college and his skills evolved into a successful -- and profitable -- career in the UFC.
There, Ortiz was faced with all the temptations that Jones succumbed to.
“It's up to him to be a man and take care of himself,” Ortiz said.
“I’ve been in [Jones’] shoes before, but I’ve always been the person to say no. I’ve always been the person to walk away and not give in to the pressure.”
Ortiz says that when he prepares for a fight, that’s the only thing he does.
Preparing for Fights and Poker Tournaments
For three months prior to a fight, Ortiz doesn’t party, doesn’t drink and doesn’t even play other sports to reduce the risk of injury.
His schedule involves waking up and making sure his kids get to school, taking a nap and then training at the gym from 11am to 7pm.
“If you want to be a pro,” Ortiz said. “You have to be a pro.
“Sleep, eat, train, take vitamins. Party when you win the thing.”
Ortiz's victory parties after winning a fight usually include a few --several-- drinks and gambling.
But before a fight, Ortiz says there are fewer things worse than alcohol. It doesn’t allow your body to rest, Ortiz said, and you start the day out hurting rather than refreshed.
Ortiz said this applies for anything someone wants to take seriously, especially poker.
“Party when you win the thing,” Ortiz emphasized again.
Everything before that should be nothing but preparation. With proper preparation, Ortiz said, results will follow.
“Nothing comes easy, but if you prepare the right way, everything gets easy,” Ortiz said. “Fights are easy. Fights are super easy, it’s the training that comes up to that point [that’s hard.]”
Key to Success? Repetition
Aside from the physical aspects of training, Ortiz says that the repetition in training also helps him succeed.
“It’s doing the same thing over and over and over again,” Ortiz said. “You get used to the same situations [in training], so when you face them you react.
"When you're thinking about what you're doing, it's already too late."
Ortiz says poker is the same way and that’s why after he was done playing yesterday, Ortiz went straight to his room to play online poker.
While Ortiz’s poker skills have yet to catch up to his fighting skills, he’s hoping they’ll continue to improve.
They brought him this far.
While Ortiz was welcomed to the event with open arms, he wasn’t actually invited. Ortiz won his seat to the 2015 PCA after outlasting around 200 players in a charity tournament.
Now Ortiz is hoping to turn that into his first ever major tournament cash.