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Bader interview: TUF 8 champ not about to fall for Tito’s pity party

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

Tito Ortiz was in passive-aggressive mode today during the official UFC 132 prefight press conference. Tito claims that he begged for his job earlier this year and said repeatedly during the press conference that no one is picking him to win and because of that he has nothing to lose. This talk started last week when Ortiz started to accuse Ryan Bader of disrespecting him by calling him a stepping stone.

"But Bader made a mistake saying I am a stepping stone back to Jon Jones. I understand why he said it. When I was 28 I felt indestructible too and I was saying a lot of things about what I was going to do too. But I'm not a stepping stone to anyone," Ortiz wrote in a blog for ESPN.com. "No one has ever had an easy fight against me and he made a mistake in saying that I am a stepping stone. Maybe it was a figure of speech, but even if it was it was a little disrespectful to a former world champion."

When we spoke to Bader yesterday, the champ from Season 8 of "The Ultimate Fighter" reacted strongly, saying he would never look past someone like Ortiz.

"I never said that one time. All I said was I wanted to get back to the top and that startsd with Tito here, and that's all I said," Bader said on ESPNRadio1100 (4:45 mark). "He got that from, who knows where? I'm treating not this fight like that at all. This is a a fight I'm taking very seriously and I want to get back to my winning ways."

Ortiz is 0-4-1 in his last five fights. He's without a win since 2006. Dana White made it clear today that a good performance alone would NOT allow Ortiz to keep his gig with the UFC. Tito needs to win this or he's gone. Bader is a massive minus-500 favorite on the Las Vegas odds boards.

The 28-year-old former wrestler at Arizona State had his hand on his chin and smirked for much of the press conference as Tito talked about "hoping" to go out and put on a good performance.

You can watch UFC 132 right here on Yahoo! Sports

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