The former UFC champion and recently retired Bellator fighter has been mending a few fences since hanging up the gloves.
Dana White and Tito Ortiz’s public relationship has been a pretty bitter one, going all the way back to 2001, when White dropped managing Ortiz to take over as president of the UFC. The former business partners pretty quickly became embittered rivals, and almost ended up meeting in the boxing ring back in 2007.
Still, for 15 years, Ortiz was a fixture in the former Zuffa organization. Even well after his championship title days were over, he was a cornerstone of UFC PPV cards – headlining another 5 of them without a title on the line. Win or lose, Ortiz’s public presence in the sport loomed large.
He left the promotion in 2012, in an initial retirement bid, following his second loss to Forrest Griffin, and temporarily set up shop as a manager for other fighters. But, retirement was short lived, and Ortiz soon ended up in Bellator and back in the cage. From talent, to manager, to working with a UFC rival, none of these moves helped rebuild his relationship with Dana White. However, time heals all wounds, and it seems that Ortiz’s latest (and seemingly more permanent) decision to hang up his gloves may also have put his relationship with the UFC president back on track.
“I’m very thankful to Bellator,” Ortiz said, speaking of his retirement in a recent interview with MMA Fighting. “Scott Coker’s been amazing to work with. It’s kind of weird, because after it was all over I got a text from [UFC president] Dana [White] saying congratulations. Me and Dana haven’t really been eye-to-eye for a long time, but recently we’ve been texting back and forth. I don’t know, man. Life’s too short. Too short to hate. I’ve done a few things in my career that I regret towards him. Maybe wearing a tee shirt that says ‘Dana’s My Bitch’ is one of them.”
“Yeah, I’d have to say yes [we did bury the hatchet],” Ortiz continued, when asked if his feud with White was done. “We briefly spoke, and it seemed like the old Dana. I guess we kind of both said life is too short to hate as much as we have. It’s one of those things man. I’ve learned, why waste my time with hating somebody when I can just forget about it and let life go on? I’ve done that.”
Ortiz also spoke about his upcoming plans, including “shooting a film with Tyler Perry” (Boo 2! A Madea Halloween), and “playing some poker with Poker Stars.” He also plans on having another surgery on his notoriously damaged neck. Whatever the future holds, it doesn’t sound like a return to MMA competition is going to be part of it, but with fighters, you never know.