UFC Hall of Famer and current Bellator star Tito Ortiz has a long history with the UFC.
From the time he was managed by now-UFC President Dana White, to him being on top of the world in the early 2000’s, his contract disputes with the promotion, and finally in the latter part of his career when he wasn’t at the top of the game and the UFC still gave him fights. It’s safe to say ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ has had a love/hate relationship with the largest MMA promotion in the world, to say the least.
Currently, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor is fighting a similar battle against the UFC after they pulled him from his fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 200. Ortiz recently appeared on Chael Sonnen’s podcast and discussed McGregor’s situation.
“I don’t know, it’s just one of those things. I made some bad decisions with the UFC, with Dana and I’ve been talked bad about from them from Dana, and I look back on it and wish I would have done things a lot different. I just, I hope Conor makes the right decisions, and at the same time, but makes the decision for his future.”
“He’s only 28. Let him sit out for a little bit. Let him see how much money the other fighters can make the UFC. Which they can. The UFC, they are the star. They’re gonna make the money. They’ll keep bringing more and more fighters in and Conor’s going to miss out on a year or two and then he’ll have to cave in and ask what Dana and Lorenzo [Fertitta] want him to do…
“Trust has always been a hard issue in my life and when I was with the UFC it was hard for me to trust people because it was like I was seeing lies, up to lies, up to lies. So I think that at this time Conor should trust Lorenzo and trust Dana and do the right decision.”
Ortiz explained that fighters do not have a long career, so when a window of opportunity arises, that fighter needs to go full-board into getting big-money fights while they can.
“We’re fighters. We go out there, and we’ll open a window of opportunity, and they’re only open for so long, and we have to take advantage of that time right then. When I did it, I was 30-31 years old maybe it was a little too late that I should have did it, but I did it right. I was okay with the money that I got, the money that I made. So hopefully Conor makes the right decision.”
“I think it comes down to the longevity and how long you’ll be in the sport. This job has to pay for your future, and that’s why I ended up coming back. My job needed to pay for, not my future but my children’s future. I have three boys, and I want to make sure they have everything I never had as a kid, so it is saving my money by doing the right things, investing in the right areas but at the same time not being crazy by spending my money the wrong way. I’ve been in this game almost nineteen years, the thirtieth of this month will be nineteen years that I’ve been competing, and I can look back on it, and I’ve made some bad decision, I’ve made some great decisions, but at the end of the day I think fighting against the UFC is the wrong way to do it.”
You can listen to the entire interview here: