In 2012, former UFC champion Tito Ortiz competed in the UFC for the final time as he was handed his third straight loss, his 7th over the course of the past 8 fights.
Ortiz then signed with Bellator MMA in 2014. When Ortiz made his highly anticipated Bellator debut, he did so against Alexander Shlemenko, where he picked up a 1st round submission win over the Bellator MMA vet, marking his first win in three years. In his next fight, Ortiz stepped into the cage for a highly anticipated grudge match with fellow UFC veteran Stephan Bonnar. Ortiz won the fight via split decision. Unfortunately for Ortiz, in his next fight he dropped his next fight to Liam McGeary in a failed bid for the Bellator MMA title.
Most recently, Tito Ortiz returned to the cage to fight Chael Sonnen in a highly anticipated grade match. In just the first round, Ortiz picked up a 1st round submission win over Sonnen.
Now, the UFC Hall of Famer has reflected on his MMA career, as well as his relationship with Dana White, who he recently made peace with.
He spoke to MMAFighting:
“I’m very thankful to Bellator,” Ortiz told MMA Fighting, an hour before his son’s next match on Friday. “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.”
“I’ve always just tried to work for the future of my children, and for their future,” Ortiz says. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that if not for Bellator. [Spike president} Kevin Kay’s an amazing guy over there. He gave Scott Coker a job in order to make that company grow. Bellator’s gotten bigger and bigger, and the PR firm is doing an amazing job. The sport’s getting bigger. You can see all the UFC fighters are going over there and signing with Bellator. Is it that the pasture’s greener over there? In my history, yes. I’d have to say absolutely yes.”
This article first appeared on www.BJPenn.com on 4/29/2017.