http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/060703/1/8izm.html Watch out for US and Mexico in 2010' 3 July 2006 by FIFAworldcup.com Enlarge Photo Photo Gallery Tito Ortiz, UFC fighter Mexican-American Tito Ortiz is one of the greatest and most popular competitors in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Combining legendary conditioning, standout wrestling skills and ferocious ‘ground and pound’ technique, he became the UFC’s light heavyweight champion in 2000, with a defeat of the highly-regarded Wanderlei Silva. Ortiz lost his crown in 2003, but at 31 is still on course for a tilt at his former title, which is currently in the possession of Chuck Liddell. Having won his last three contests, Tito is now preparing to face UFC Hall-of-Famer Ken Shamrock – whom he defeated in 2002 - at UFC 61: Bitter Rivals, on 8 July 2006. Taking time from his rigorous training schedule, Tito – a keen football enthusiast - spoke to FIFAworldcup.com about the 2006 FIFA World Cup™. So, Tito, you’ve got a big fight coming up on 8 July. Have you found time to watch the FIFA World Cup? Virtually all I’ve been doing is training. I’m really focusing on the fight, making sure I’m in the best possible shape. But I’ve been finding out all the scores from the World Cup, watching the highlights when I’ve had the chance, and I made sure I watched my teams play. Who do you support, the USA or Mexico? I support both. I love both. I was disappointed to see the US go out in the first round, because we have a good team, an athletic team. But we drew with Italy which was good to see, because everyone knows how dangerous they are. (Clint) Dempsey came in and did well, he showed heart, and (Claudio) Reyna played some good stuff, even though he made the mistake against Ghana. And Mexico? I think Mexico had a good tournament. I was proud of the players. Argentina are a strong side, you know, but we gave them a really tough game. We kept pushing them, fighting until the final whistle. Mexican people don’t have any other way; in soccer or in combat sports. Mexico has some really good players, like Oswaldo Sanchez, (Rafael) Marquez and (Oscar) Bravo, but the most important ingredient is that they play as a team. Their objective is for Mexico to win, and they’ll all fight until the end for this. Nobody tries to be the big star. It’s about fighting for the shirt, defending the country and its people. Did you watch the Brazil-France match? Yeah. I was disappointed because Brazil didn’t play to the level we know they can. I just wish Robinho could have entered the game sooner. I think it could have been different. Ronaldinho was too heavily marked. But credit to France, who played a great game. Zidane was awesome. Were you surprised at Brazil’s starting line-up? A little. If anybody was going to come in I thought it would be Robinho. Adriano can score a goal out of nothing, so I wish he could have played for longer. And I wish Juninho had still been on for the free-kick at the end. With USA and Mexico now eliminated, who would you like to see win the competition? I have a lot of fans in the UK and Brazil who’ve supported me through everything, really been behind me. I love all my fans and appreciate their support, so I would’ve been delighted if England or Brazil had won it. I think they had the talent, but it just didn’t work out. Now all I’m hoping for is some entertaining soccer. I think the winner of the Italy-Germany semi will triumph. Which players have stood out for you in the 2006 FIFA World Cup? Oswaldo Sanchez. After what happened with his father passing away, I know that must have been really tough for him, but he played brilliantly. I felt proud that he was playing for Mexico. And from other teams? From the highlights of England I would have to say Joe Cole. Kaka also looked the part for Brazil, and even Robinho - man, that kid’s got talent! (Zinedine) Zidane, (Fabio) Cannavaro, (Ricardo) Carvalho, (Lukas) Podolski, (Miroslav) Klose… a lot of guys have impressed me. Do you think the US or Mexico can win the FIFA World Cup in South Africa? Sure. With hard work and dedication you can achieve anything in life. Besides, Mexico are the U-17 world champions – they even beat Brazil, who have an incredible side! Here in the States we have a lot of good youngsters. Eddie Johnson is one example, then there’s Convey and Adu. Did you have any football heroes as a child? Mohammed Ali was my hero. In soccer, the two players I most admired were Pele and (Cuauhtemoc)Blanco. They were artists, but they both had so much heart. They did so much for their countries. Do you think the FIFA World Cup sends out a message? I think it’s an incredible event that brings people from all over the world together. It’s an athletic game where we’re all equal. Each person is equal, it doesn’t matter what race or colour or religion you are. The organization has been excellent. Each time the World Cup just gets better and better. What can we expect from Tito Ortiz in the near future? Right now I’m totally focused on my fight against (Ken) Shamrock, but I definitely want the title back. I want a rematch with Chuck Liddell. He’s a great fighter and I know it will be a breathtaking fight. It’s what the fans want to see.