Tito Ortiz is on the road promoting his Bellator 106 bout with Rampage Jackson, and a lot of the questions he receives center around Dana White and the UFC. At first, his responses were tame and predictable; dwindled down to comparing each promotion’s treatment of fighters. That was until Sports Illustrated anchor Maggie Gray asked Ortiz what it was like working under White.
“I thought slavery was over a long time ago,” Ortiz told SI. “It’s just one of those things that you can’t trust a word that the man says. When you can’t do that how can you work for him? When you work for a person and they’re bad mouthing you no matter what. How can you work for them? One of the big things now is bullying, and he’s one of the biggest bullies I’d say in the business.”
The irony here isn’t that White was once his manager or that Ortiz too can be considered a bully, given his history of domestic violence. Last summer, Ortiz was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and commended UFC executives, including White, stating “If it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be here right now.” His comments to SI go far beyond biting the hand that feeds.
According to 5th Round, White has responded to Ortiz’ claim that he is a slave driver and, unsurprisingly, he manages to drop a few f-bombs. “That f— buffoon,” White said of Ortiz. “How about this f— moron coming out and saying he was a slave? I shouldn’t even ask that question, if he knows what a slave means because he’s one of the dumbest motherf— you will ever meet. Seriously. He’s a slave to stupidity, that’s what he is.”
As blunt as his statement is, White has a point. If anything he gave Ortiz preferential treatment. I don’t see many fighters staying in the UFC after losing six out of seven contests. In doing so he let Ortiz “retire” gracefully well aware that there was a seat in the UFC Hall of Fame with his name on it.
“Can you imagine trying to do business with that f— buffoon?” White asked. “Try to have an educated conversation with him. It’s not possible. You can’t have an intelligent conversation with him. I could go to the f— zoo, go over to the f— monkey cage and have a better interaction, a more intelligent interaction with the monkeys at the zoo than f— that buffoon.”
Luckily, White doesn’t have to do business with him anymore. Ortiz’ comments hurt Bellator and the perception that they are a legitimate contender to the UFC. With over two months to go until he faces Rampage, Ortiz needs to stick to his tame and predictable answers.