When Jon Jones beat Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 on April 26, 2014, it was announced that he broke Chuck Liddell’s record for most wins in the light heavyweight division, with 14. However, the hardcore fanbase argued that the record was rightly held by Tito Ortiz, who had 15, although the divisions were not as fixed as they are today.
That may have set the two fighters at odds to some degree. During the run up to Tito’s retirement fight at Bellator 170 on Saturday, The People’s Champ had some harsh words for Bones.
“In 2001, when the UFC made the weight class for me, they made this weight class because of me,” explained Ortiz to FightHype. “I was the first light heavyweight champion. I was the longest running light heavyweight until Jon Jones.
“He says he was the greatest, he was never the greatest. He’s never done anything. He says he calls himself a legend. What kind of legendary stuff has he ever done? Nothing.
“People call me a legend. I don’t need to call myself a legend. People call me a legend because I’ve done legendary stuff in my career. I’ve set the bar. I’ve set the stage for every one of these MMA guys. Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor, myself.
Before anyone piles on Tito too hard, the next question was about what it feels like that the sport wouldn’t be where it was today if not for him.
“That’s not true,” said Tito. “MMA would be where it is today. I’ve made a little bit, but if it wasn’t for Royce Gracie, this wouldn’t be where it is today. All the credit goes to Royce Gracie. … The Fertittas were the ones who saved the sport. They’re the ones that put all the money up to make this happen. Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, if it wasn’t for them, this sport wouldn’t be alive.”
So Tito was stating his honest opinion. However, Jones was not impressed.