Light heavyweight legend Tito Ortiz’s tumultuous relationship with UFC President Dana White was one of the running themes during the Hall of Famer’s fifteen-year career in the Octagon. In fact, things were so bad the two even talked about a boxing bout for charity that produced a televised special only for the match-up to never materialize.
Now retired, Ortiz has had a chance to reflect on his run in the ring and recently told Bloody Elbow there was only one thing he regretted, admitting he would have acted differently towards White out of the respect he has grown to have for the outspoken executive.
“The only thing I can really think of would be the feuding with Dana. I said some things, based on emotion, and was acting in a defensive manner. I think now, I would say things a little differently, and handled things better. I wouldn’t have taken things so personally. I understand now, that it was just business. I grew up without that positive parental influence for a long time, until my mother left my father and got sober. I was just this kid in survival mode, and I carried a lot of that attitude over into my career. I always felt like I could never trust anyone, because I couldn’t even trust my own family. I was always in defense mode. I could never believe that someone might be trying to help me. Yeah, my relationship with Dana would be the only thing I would change.”
“As far as missing being under the spotlight, I miss it a little bit, but as far as the fighting, not an ounce of it. You know, I’ve had some major surgeries, and I put my body through Hell. I did what I set out to do, and I went out on my own terms. Management is my next step, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for me there.”
SOURCE: Bloody Elbow
PHOTO CREDIT: UFC