Opinion: The Tito Ortiz Debacle Part II
By Jesse Heitz
As many readers are undoubtedly already well-aware, Tito Ortiz is making his return to the cage once again, this time for the UFC’s closest competition, Bellator. We’ve chattered on and on about his return to primetime MMA with his planned November bout with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. We’ve discussed all things Tito Ortiz in the last few weeks, typically such clamoring is warranted when it concerns the return of legends. However, this piece will take on a whole new tone.
In a recent interview released by SI Now, Ortiz slammed former boss, UFC President, Dana White, stating,
“I thought slavery was over a long time ago.”
“It was just one of those things. You can’t trust a word the man says. If you can’t do that, how can you work for him? You work for a person and they’re bad-mouthing you no matter what, how can you work for them? You apologize for the things that did happen and he still goes behind your back and says things about you that…no reason for at all. That’s when it’s time to say, you know.”
“Now one of the biggest things is bullying, and he’s one of the biggest bullies, I’d say, in the business. He’s a big bully. One of these days, Karma is a B and it always comes back around.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Dana White is not the world’s greatest boss. He might very well be an absolutely miserable boss. Yet, his job as the promoter of the largest MMA company in the world isn’t to be a fighter’s best friend, it’s to organize and hype fights. He flaps his gums without tiring; he routinely shoots from the hip. This might be upsetting and he says things he shouldn’t, things that may infuriate others. I’d venture to guess this is a hallmark trait of successful promoters and is not merely limited to Dana White.
However, For Ortiz to compare his employer-employee relationship with White as “slavery”, that’s simply absurd. Tito Ortiz became a multi-millionaire through the UFC, becoming one of its highest paid fighters ever. Certainly, his relationship with White must not have been that bad when during his final stint with the company he went 1-7-1 over nearly six years, and not only maintained his job, but bagged incredible paydays. Sure sounds like a rotten deal to me.
For Ortiz, it’s time to move on. He needs to quit jawing like a spoiled child, or a professional wrestler depending on the given moment, and focus on fighting. Take the high road. If his feelings are that hurt, what better way to show up his former boss than by winning fights, making himself relevant, and drawing strong numbers for Bellator?