There is certainly no love lost between UFC president Dana White and former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz—and there's just been new fuel added to the fire.
At one time many years ago, White was actually Ortiz's manager during his early days in the UFC, but that relationship deteriorated to the point where the two were actually scheduled to box each other in an exhibition fight to work out some of their differences.
The fight never actually came together, but White's war with Ortiz continued over the years all the way up to the point when the former 205-pound king retired from MMA in 2012. White inducted Ortiz into the UFC Hall of Fame the night before his final fight, but fast forward to almost exactly a year later and the two are back at each other's throats again.
The fire was stoked recently when Ortiz joined forces with Bellator MMA, where he signed a new multi-fight deal to come out of retirement and take on fellow former UFC champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. The two former training partners will meet in the first-ever Bellator pay-per-view on November 2.
Ortiz was on a media tour this week to promote the fight, and when he spoke to Sports Illustrated about his relationship with White, he categorized it as nothing more than slavery and downright bullying.
I thought slavery was over a long time ago. It's just one of those things that you can't trust a word that the man says. When you can't do that how can you work for him? When you work for a person and they're bad mouthing you no matter what. How can you work for them? One of the big things now is bullying, and he's one of the biggest bullies I'd say in the business. He's a big bully.
On Wednesday, White fired back at Ortiz, who despite their differences, still earned some of the highest paychecks in the UFC while sticking around the promotion with a 1-7-1 record in his last nine fights.
"How about this f—king moron coming out and saying he was a slave?" White said. "I shouldn't even ask that question if he knows what a slave means cause he is one of the dumbest motherf—kers you will ever meet. Seriously, he's a slave to stupidity is what he is."
White also had to watch Ortiz along with Jackson bad-mouth him while appearing on ESPN earlier this week when the duo appeared on SportsCenter and other programs on the network.
He's not really sure why Ortiz and Jackson, who claim to be ecstatically happy about the deals they signed with Bellator, continue to rip him in the press.
"You've got f—king Bozo and the other Bozo over there going 'this is the greatest place in the world to work and we're so happy!'. Then what the f—k are you talking about me for?" White said. "If you love where you're at, you really love it and you're that happy, then why are you talking about me? That makes no sense."
As far as the fight goes between Ortiz and Jackson, White has no intention of buying the pay-per-view or even watching a replay if it happens to air on free television. He knows how tough the PPV market can be on some of the best fighters in the world, sometimes even when titles are on the line.
But matching up two former UFC fighters who went a combined 0-6 in their final six UFC fights? White says this is a disaster just waiting to happen.
|Ortiz||Forrest Griffin||Loss||Decision||UFC 148|
|Ortiz||Antonio Rogerio Nogueira||Loss||TKO||UFC 140|
|Ortiz||Rashad Evans||Loss||TKO||UFC 133|
|Rampage||Glover Teixiera||Loss||Decision||UFC on Fox 6|
|Rampage||Ryan Bader||Loss||Decision||UFC 144|
|Rampage||Jon Jones||Loss||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||UFC135|
"You've got to have a good fight to stay home on a Saturday night and want to pay for it," White said. "Neither one of those guys are top-10 ranked fighters. Tito f—king retired. Don't you remember sitting through his stupid f—king 45-minute press conferences? Like you'd ask him a question and he'd ramble on for 45 minutes about s—t that made no sense.
"Then he'd start talking about 'I'm not going to be that guy that's staying around too long, getting punched in the head like all these other guys, I'm going to be an actor. I was blessed with the gift of acting,' He's acting like he's a f—king fighter that can still compete now. He lost nine of his last 10 fights, between the two of them. Rampage has lost his last three. Rampage literally came out and said 'I can't compete with the best in the world anymore'.
"And you're asking me if I'm going to buy that pay-per-view and stay home on a Saturday night and watch it? From my perspective, it would be a waste of a f—king evening where I could be doing something else."
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.