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Tito Ortiz-Randy Couture Promotion Shows How Far UFC Has Come in 5 Years

On September 26, 2003, Randy Couture defeated Tito Ortiz for the UFC light heavyweight championship in one of the biggest fights in mixed martial arts history. But instead of promoting it as a great sporting event, Couture and Ortiz felt the need to bark at each other on this TV appearance the week before the fight:

I agree with Michael Rome of Bloody Elbow, who calls it "kind of embarrassing to watch because it's so forced and unnatural." Have you ever seen Peyton Manning and Tom Brady promote a Colts-Patriots game by making a joint TV appearance to talk trash to each other?

I like the way UFC promoted last weekend's Georges St. Pierre - Jon Fitch fight, as two great athletes engaged in a spirited competition, not as a couple of dudes trading insults. The UFC has come a long way.

After the jump, watch the post-fight press conference, in which UFC President Dana White refers to Ortiz as "a good friend of mine" after the Couture-Ortiz fight. That White would say such positive things about Ortiz, (and that White has hair) shows how long ago this was.