There is certainly no love lost between former UFC star Tito Ortiz and the promotion’s CEO, Dana White.
Despite Ortiz being arguably the UFC’s biggest star at one point, ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ was by no means on White’s good side for a majority of his tenure. In fact, White and Ortiz were at odds so often that the pair narrowly competed in a boxing match. Of course, that was many years ago and Dana White has since moved on from his once-intense rivalry with the former light heavyweight champ.
Speaking with Bad Boy TV, White revealed a pretty crazy story about Ortiz regularly strong-arming him for more money after already signing on the dotted line for a fight.
“Tito’s just a really dumb human being, he’s not intelligent at all,” White said. “Very, very f*cking stupid, okay? Let’s start there. I mean, look at him speak publicly any time. Look — google ‘Tito Ortiz talking,’ okay? You know? And I don’t have any beef with Tito anymore. You know you’re f*cking stupid, Tito, you know you are.”
“Tito would — we’d be coming up to a big fight on Saturday, right? Deals have been done for months. Tito would call and say ‘I’m not going to show up unless you pay me another $150,000’ or whatever the number was. He would do this on the regular. And I would go f*cking crazy. But these are the types of… Tito was the kind of guy who would step over dollars to pick up dimes. Because he thought he was smart, but he was the complete opposite. He’s not a smart guy.
“He destroyed what could have been an incredible relationship because we loved Tito at the time,” White continued. “Tito was our guy. Tito was my guy. Frank and Lorenzo [Fertitta] loved Tito. And he absolutely destroyed a relationship that he could have had for the rest of his life. Over nickels. Nickels, in the big picture” (h/t MMA Mania).
Dana White Says Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell Were Polar Opposites
White went on to compare Ortiz to one of his fiercest rivals in the Octagon, Chuck Liddell, noting that the ‘Iceman’ was the exact opposite of Ortiz when it came to loyalty and respect.
“Chuck Liddell was the exact opposite,” he said. “Chuck Liddell still has a relationship. We still take care of Chuck Liddell, we still do good things for Chuck Liddell because Chuck Liddell is a good person, he’s not stupid, he’s very smart, actually. And when you’re in a business-type relationship, it’s not always perfect, sometimes there’s hard feelings about some things or whatever, but loyalty is a big deal. Loyalty is a big deal.
“And loyalty goes both ways. It’s not a one-way street, loyalty. It’s a two-way street, and we’ve had a lot of loyalty from these guys and girls.”