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Rashad's writing cheques his ass can't cash - Ortiz

ESPN staff
July 28, 2011 « Gandy grabs silver as Lochte sets landmark record | Chartbeat test »

Tito Ortiz has promised not to employ dirty tactics by targeting Rashad Evans' knee when the pair meet at UFC 133.

Evans is the No. 1 contender in the light-heavyweight division, but missed out on a title clash with Jon Jones due to a hand injury for the champion. Refusing to wait around, Evans now fights Ortiz on August 6 knowing defeat would cost him his crack at Jones in the future.

Suga Rashad has suffered his own injury problems over the past year, failing to step inside the Octagon since May 2010 largely due to a knee problem. Former champ Ortiz, though, is too respectful to target a shady victory by attacking the precarious joint.

"I've been asked if I will target his knee - and the answer is no," Ortiz wrote in his blog for ESPN. "I won't. I'm not that type of person. I want to beat Rashad Evans at UFC 133 fair and square. If I kick his leg, it will be part of a wider game plan to win the fight. It won't be to take advantage of an injury Rashad may or may not have.

"It's all there for me. I am in a completely positive place. I've beaten Rashad Evans before, it has gone down in the books as a draw but the fact is that in the Octagon, I was the better man when we last fought and I am a healthier version of myself than last time.

"Now he's coming off a lay-off and a serious injury. He has been out a year with a knee problem, like I had to before my rematch with Forrest Griffin a year ago, and he's going to have to deal with that doubt. Is he mentally strong enough to deal with knowing he's going to be rusty? We will see."

Ortiz, who walked away unscathed from a car crash earlier in the week, has sat back and witnessed Evans dish out plenty of trash talk over the past few months, mostly aimed at champion Jones. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy has a message for his rival though, telling Rashad he needs to back up his big talk.

"I invented this role of the s**t-talker in the UFC. I was the first guy to do this and blow up because of it," Ortiz said. "I talked a ton of s**t about a lot of guys before fights to get attention and to establish my name and my Punishment brand.

"But I backed it up. All those title wins, being champion for longer than anyone else... and even the fights I did lose, I still backed up what I had been saying.

"Now Rashad's taking over that role. He talks a lot of crap, but I don't think Rashad backs his big mouth up like I did mine. Rashad isn't me of course… I am the longest-reigning UFC 205-pound champion ever, and he couldn't hold on to the belt for one defence.

"He talked a lot about my friend Quinton Jackson, but he didn't want to fight when it was time to go into the Octagon. Now he's making a big mistake talking about me being "lucky" to beat [Ryan] Bader and get this fight with him. His ass can't cash this cheque.

"Has he done what I've done in my career? No. Could he even defend the title once? No."

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