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Tito Ortiz Addresses Comeback Rumors, Relationship with Dana White and UFC

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 28: Tito Ortiz participates in the IZOD Celebrity Invitational golf tournament on May 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images for MATTER)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Scott HarrisMMA Lead Writer January 28, 2013

Retired former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is not planning a return to the Octagon, contrary to previous indications, and he may still be at odds with the UFC.

 
"No, I'm not coming back, man," Ortiz told reporter Ariel Helwani Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast. 
 
But that doesn't mean Ortiz is uninterested in working with the UFC. In the wake of Matt Hughes' retirement Thursday and subsequent appointment to a UFC front-office position, Ortiz expressed disappointment over not receiving a similar opportunity. The title of Hughes’ new job with the UFC is vice president of athlete development and government relations. Chuck Liddell, a previous light heavyweight champion for the UFC, became the UFC’s executive vice president of business development following his retirement from the Octagon.
 
"They didn't give me enough respect to give me a call," Ortiz said. "There's a lot of things that could be done to make fighters more interesting for the fans and help fans follow their careers more closely."
 
Ortiz, 38, added that his relationship with the UFC may still be contentious, despite UFC president Dana White's previous assertions that Ortiz and the UFC are at peace following an often tumultuous professional relationship.
 
"You still see that Dana still is maybe hurt by the things I said in the past and maybe can't forgive," Ortiz said.
 
"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" also said that the UFC's insurance plan recently denied his claim for coverage to an estimated tune of $90,000.
 
"I thought the UFC was supposed to take care of us with insurance,” Ortiz said. “But now I'm second guessing what's going on."
 
Ortiz, who retired in July after a decision loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148, recently entered the world of fighter management. Most notably, he represents top female fighter Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos and said he is "talking terms" with the UFC regarding a potential contract for Santos.
 
Ortiz didn't miss an opportunity to fire a mild jab at Santos' rival Ronda Rousey, intimating that recent publicity had gone to the head of the UFC's first female champion.
 
"I think she's believing the hype a little too much. She hasn't proven anything yet," Ortiz said of Rousey.

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