UFC Hall of Fame fighter Tito Ortiz fought the final fight of his career at Bellator 170 on Jan. 21 in Los Angeles. He choked out Chael Sonnen a little over two minutes into their main event fight, ending his career on a high note.
Several doubters, however, said that the fix was in, accusing Sonnen of giving in to a choke that wasn’t properly applied.
Don’t count UFC president Dana White among those making such accusations.
Saying Ortiz’s retirement fight was the first time he had watched a Bellator event, White declared on the UFC Unfiltered podcast that there is “no way in hell” that the fight was a work.
“I’d love to come out here and (expletive) all over Bellator, but there’s no way that was a work,” he said.
“Both guys are forty-something years old. It was basically a retirement fight. A lot of people, I think, were calling it a fix. There’s no way.”
White’s comments carry a fair amount of credence considering his history with Ortiz. Prior to becoming a part owner in the UFC, White was Ortiz’s manager. And after he became UFC president, White was his boss for several years, despite numerous times that they butted heads, even going so far as scheduling a boxing match between them to settle their differences.
That boxing match never occurred, and the two continued to have an on-again, off-again relationship, but White does not doubt the legitimacy of Ortiz’s final victory.
“Tito Ortiz is strong. He put me in a neck crank one time and almost popped my (expletive) head off my shoulders. This guy is physically very strong. And I think his ground game is very underrated,” said White.
“There’s no way in hell that was a work.”
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