Behind the Bad Boy (cont.)
Posted: Friday July 6, 2007 4:43PM; Updated: Saturday July 7, 2007 3:56PM
"Losing that fight was like a loved one dying," says Ortiz. "It hurt so bad because I worked so damn hard for it. I went back in the dressing room and tears just came out of my eyes; tears of anger."
Ortiz's pain didn't heal. Six months later he lost his next fight to Chuck Liddell, his former sparring partner and friend. "I lost Liddell and I was like, 'What the f--- am I doing wrong?'" says Ortiz. "It was a bad matchup but I knew I had to continue. I've got a family to feed and I've got to continue."
Ortiz mounted a comeback with the help of the few friends that stood by his side. He saw trainers and sparring partners disappear following his back-to-back losses. "When I fought Vito Belfort, I was alone. I had no guys to train with," says Ortiz. "Guys, after I lost the belt, they just kind of left. Three guys stayed with me and helped me train: Rampage Jackson, Justin McCully and Rico Rodriguez."
Two of Ortiz's wins came over legendary MMA fighter Ken Shamrock, who has done more to build Ortiz's reputation than anyone else, as he has been beaten by Ortiz in all three of their much-hyped battles. While Ortiz clearly has Shamrock's number, most believe Liddell has Ortiz's number after "The Iceman" beat Ortiz for the second time in Ortiz's last fight, becoming the only fighter to beat Ortiz twice.
"I know he knows it still eats me up and I'd love to get him in there again," says Ortiz. "In the last 9 years, I've only lost to two people: Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. I'd love to fight Couture again and I'm going to fight Liddell again, guaranteed."
A Perfect Match
Jenna Jameson vaguely remembers the first time she saw Ortiz fight on television. "I think the first time I took notice of him was when he fought Wanderlei Silva," says Jameson. "I was like that guy has mad talent."
Ortiz's recollections of the first time he saw Jameson are just as vague, although he admits he was just as impressed with her skills. "I remember when I used to work at Spanky's," recalls Ortiz. "I used to watch her porns all the time and it's just like, '[Shoot]! That's her!'
Jameson and Ortiz's lives have numerous parallels, from a drug-riddled childhood in a broken home where they were forced to grow up at an early age, right down to separating from their respective spouses last year before meeting each other.
Ortiz didn't have to work that hard to find the woman of his dreams. In fact, he didn't have to work at all. She was the one who found him. Not at club or a post-fight party but on Myspace.
"Thank God for Myspace," Ortiz says with a big grin on his face.
"After I broke-up with my ex I was spending a lot of time at home and I'm the queen of Myspace," says Jameson. "I came across his profile and I was wondering if I should send him a message. This was right before his second fight against Ken Shamrock and I was going to the fight so I said screw it and sent him a message."
Within a minute, Ortiz messaged Jameson back and the two exchanged numbers and made plans to meet at Ortiz's after-party at Tryst. Ortiz still didn't believe Jameson would show up until a security guard at the club came to Ortiz's table and told him that Jenna Jameson wanted to meet him.
"I went over there and she was sitting by herself and I sat down and talked to her," says Ortiz. "I went, 'What are doing by alone' and she was like, 'I'm single.' I was like, "Really? Right on." Inside I was just like, 'Holy s---." I was very intimidated."
Ortiz got over the intimidation last August when he picked up Jameson while she was staying at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood and took her to the movies. Yet, the more time he spent with her, the more he began to realize it wouldn't be a fling. "I was expecting some dingy, blonde-hair, stripper chick, stupid porno girl," he says. "That's really what I expected. What made me fall in love with her was just how articulate she was. She's very intelligent, very business savvy, very smart. I love smart women."
While Jameson's smarts won over Ortiz, it was Ortiz's soft side (among other attributes) that won over Jameson.
"I can't even put into words how respectful he is of me," she says. "He's amazing. I think it's destiny that we met and that we'll be together for the rest of our lives. He thinks about me before he thinks of himself. He'll get up and make me breakfast. Without me even asking he'll get up in the morning and get me Starbucks. He'll rub my feet."
Something to Prove
As the sun begins to set outside of the oversized windows atop Ortiz's cabin, another commercial for Ortiz's fight on Saturday night pops up on the television.
"I think this is one of the biggest fights of my career," he says, watching his highlights flash before him. "Every single fight is huge, but this is really huge. I'm still in title contention, but I have to prove myself again. I've only lost to two people in the last 10 years, Couture and Liddell. Everybody has their off day. Two guys step in the Octagon and one of them has to lose. That's not going to be me."
With that, Ortiz makes his way to the Octagon sitting in the gym behind his home for a late-night training session while I make my way toward the oversized gate leading out of his estate. "Don't forget to use the remote," he says. "It's right next to the gate. You can't miss it."