Tito Ortiz on the UFC: 'They're going to crumble from inside'
LOS ANGELES -- Tito Ortiz is not confident in his old company's future.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion thinks the promotion is heading in the wrong direction given recent events like the controversial Reebok deal and the firing of respected cutman Jacob "Stitch" Duran.
"It's just a matter of time," Ortiz said Tuesday at a Bellator: Dynamite media day in Hollywood. "Rome crumbles from inside and that's what they're going to do. They're going to crumble from inside. They're their worst enemies. I could just sit back and nobody is gonna talk trash about Dana, talk trash about the UFC. I'll let them do their own damage."
The last month or so has seen some excellent fights and an historic event for the UFC. But with it has come myriad public-relations nightmares. The unveiling of the Reebok uniforms was filled with gaffes, Duran was fired after criticizing cutmen's lack of compensation in the Reebok deal and UFC president Dana White went on a Twitter tirade against fans last week.
"It's sad for 'Stitch' Duran," said Ortiz, who is in the UFC Hall of Fame. "He's a guy that's been in this business since Day One and he's done a lot of great things, not only in mixed martial arts, but in professional boxing. He should be respected. It just shows, you say something against the company that's trying to monopolize everything, you get thrown to the wolves -- as I did, as many other fighters did. And that's why they left."
Ortiz, 40, retired from the UFC in 2012 and resurfaced in Bellator a year later. He has been there ever since and says he is happy. The popular "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" challenges for the Bellator light heavyweight title against champion Liam McGeary at Bellator: Dynamite on Sept. 19 in San Jose.
That event features a four-man, one-night light heavyweight tournament witi some of the biggest names in Bellator and several GLORY kickboxing matches. The SAP Center will have both an MMA cage and a kickboxing ring set up. Ortiz said that is a stark contrast to what the UFC is doing.
"I really think UFC has made it bored for MMA," Ortiz said. "You just see the same stuff. It's cookie cutter. The same stuff over and over. Now that Reebok has been a part of their sponsorship, it's cookie cutter. Bellator has taken a step forward in giving the fans what they want to see and that's exciting fights, not only in mixed martial arts and now kickboxing."
Ortiz believes the addition of Reebok has taken something away from the experience of MMA and what the UFC used to be about.
"They want to see the spectacle," Ortiz said of fans. "I remember from the very beginning when I walked out at UFC 140 when we had the big lights, the flames, everything. Fans want to see entertainment. That's why they tune into professional wrestling. You get the reality with professional fighting. That's what Scott Coker is bringing with Bellator."
That isn't why Ortiz left, though. The former champ said it had mostly to do with money and the way he felt like he was being treated by UFC brass. He saw that same perceived lack of respect when Duran was fired.
"At the end of the day, us fighters, all we have is respect," Ortiz said. "If you're a cutman, all you have is respect. We're trying to feed our family. A company is making so much money. Cut us in on pieces of it. That business didn't like to do that and that's why I left. I wasn't being respected. I wasn't getting my piece of the pie."
Morning Report: Georges St-Pierre supports USADA's IV ban, believes more divisions would be good for business
Georges St-Pierre doesn't seem in any hurry to get back inside the Octagon.
The former UFC welterweight champion stepped aside from fighting in 2013, partly due to what he described as a lack of oversight concerning performance-enhancing drugs in the sport.
In 2014 St-Pierre said he was 'very disappointed' in the UFC's lack of support for his wish to see an increase in random drug testing. But last month St-Pierre admitted the UFC's new anti-doping policies were a 'step in the right direction' to bring him back to fighting.
UFC partnered with the United States Anti Doping Associate earlier this year to handle drug-testing procedures, but USADA made waves when it called for a ban of post-weigh-in rehydration with IVs.
According to USADA CEO Travis Tygart, IVs over 50ml are allowed until Oct. 1 as a sort of grace period.
While a number of active fighters bemoaned the move, St-Pierre believes the ban will help keep athletes honest.
"I believe it's a good thing, to tell you the truth", St-Pierre told GNPTV. "If it's not your division, stay to your own division."
"You see guys that lose an incredible amount of weight. For my part I used to weigh around 190. I lose 20 pounds, which is relatively small right now for a welterweight. Most guys are over 200 pounds and I always find it fascinating."
For a fan of platelet-rich plasma therapy and shark cartilage supplements St-Pierre doesn't like seeing technology helping athletes gain too much of an edge.
"Now it's not only a question of who's better and who's more well prepared, it's also a question of technology," said St-Pierre. "The more you allow technology to play out on the result of a sporting event the more you take away the real talent, the real skill question. That's why I believe it's a good thing. I think it should be illegal.
"It's a new rule. Everybody would have to adapt, but I think everybody can adapt if they do it well. And also, the IV thing, the reason why I think it should be banned is because sometimes IVs could be used to mask certain performance-enhancing drugs. It's good. I think it's a good thing."
St-Pierre believes the move could also spur the UFC to create even more weight divisions, but that he'd still have a home at 170 pounds.
"I don't know if they are ready for this," said St-Pierre. "It will make more belts. I know on the business standpoint it's a good thing to do. But for me, fighting at 170, for my body, I wouldn't mind not using the IV. I wouldn't mind. It wouldn't change anything."
St-Pierre admits having used IVs to rehydrate in the past, but has no issue seeing them go.
"I already did before, most people did," St-Pierre said of IV use.. "IV is a salty solution. It's used in American football by many athletes, but if it's banned, it's banned. You can't be against the virtue. I think it's a good move. Yes it is."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Fire. Dominick Cruz calls UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw 'nothing but a wannabe.' 'I look forward to going out there and proving that I'm the best in the world.'
PRIDE never die. Mauricio Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira plan to have another war at UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro.
'It was bad timing, for sure.' Coach Duane Ludwig apologizes for his 'stupid' Team Alpha Male comments, but says T.J. Dillashaw trains 'differently.'
Ouch. Jake Shields says he's going to 'try to break' one of Rousimar Palhares' bones at WSOF 22. 'If I get an armbar, if I get a heel hook or something, I'm gonna grab it and try to crank it as hard as I possibly can and try to break it.'
Skyscraper. UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve says he's been fighting his entire career at 60 percent due to his heart defect. 'Now that my heart output has improved so much, I really plan to start doing that more and more, and really just score knockout after knockout.'
Countdown to UFC 190: Shogun Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Ronda Rousey explains prolonging punishment of Bethe Correia at UFC 190.
King Mo has beef with everyone.
Highlights from around the regional scene.
Nice profile on Fallon Fox [Be nice or be silent, guys]
Conor McGregor says he's trying to buy a tiger.
via MMA Mania
UFC 190: Unibet Presents Inside The Octagon Rousey vs. Correia (Dan Hardy)
#4horsewomen here comes the Fourth #UFC190 #Aug1st #andSTILL https://t.co/JzX6b8n2GR
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) July 29, 2015
so disappointed I watched the fight. I need to fight next month!No marks from the fight& can't be benched again I am so much more.
— Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) July 28, 2015
Take a week off. Then back to the gym. #whosnext #imready #IrishDragon #phillypride #bmfranch #renzophilly
— Paul Felder (@felderpaul) July 29, 2015
I would fight tomorrow if @danawhite @ufc let me.Im hungry now but that fight could work. Love Australia sounds cool https://t.co/L9R8Mp4ip1
— Gian Villante (@GPVillante) July 28, 2015
We won't be stopped. Right back in here getting better! @GPVillante pic.twitter.com/zxsNGGKJ8x
— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) July 28, 2015
JDS has good hands but.. This is my answer! http://t.co/hZCOZdgfeX
— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) July 28, 2015
.@tabrizzle ur whack-because your another Turd nugget who gets beat down by silly Dilly in the gym. 3 years hurt to best 135er ever. I WIN
— Dominick Cruz (@TheDomin8r) July 28, 2015
.@rgabbert1201 listen up lil girl-My UFC belt is in my living room. I'm just beating up ur boy toy cuz he's next in line...Go get a pedi.
— Dominick Cruz (@TheDomin8r) July 29, 2015
Fighting is not about Twitter. He called me out; I said yes. I'm done talking. Date, time and place is set. https://t.co/F16322HeRn
— Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) July 28, 2015
For the American man who killed #CecilTheLion in Zimbabwe here ya go. #Hunting for the sake of... https://t.co/1KcRkRf37r
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) July 28, 2015
The guy is clearly an asshole. How can they have such a big smile on their faces like it's ok? https://t.co/h6HERo0fM3
— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) July 28, 2015
How do I not have the balls? He paid to kill a lion for fun. Legal or illegal, it's innately wrong. Can't you see? https://t.co/qsHLFY6kSi
— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) July 28, 2015
Funny how simple old animals can have such an impact on us humans, RIP #CecilTheLion didn't know I had so many of your pix saved in my phone
— TheOnceAndFutureKing (@BensonHenderson) July 29, 2015
I can't understand how someone can think of killing such a magnificent animal as "fun". #CecilTheLion https://t.co/6JpZDmFp4b
— Cathal Pendred (@Pendred) July 28, 2015
Hurry back, GSP.
Had a lot of fun at the opening of the new @underarmour office in Munich! Great team, great people as always! pic.twitter.com/Rd62DGsKuQ
— Georges St-Pierre (@GeorgesStPierre) July 28, 2015
Last game before you go see #minotauro # # Fejao at UFC minotoror Rafael Saturday pic.twitter.com/BRPjdLZp7w
— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) July 29, 2015
Spend it on anything but a Tiger.
I'm winning on the numbers everywhere. https://t.co/uIIAhN2dH6
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 29, 2015
Longer than Shaq.
@DatDudeDHoov As long as she wanted me to last. I wanted to introduce myself to her at the ESPYs but didn't want her to kick my butt.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 28, 2015
Announced yesterday (July 28 2015)
Thiago Silva out, Mike Kyle vs. Clifford Starks at WSOF 22
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