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Tito Ortiz: Bjorn Rebney 'made empty promises' as Bellator CEO

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Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Given that Bjorn Rebney brought former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz out of retirement, one might assume the former UFC light heavyweight champion was disappointed to see the company's former CEO get shown the door.

One would be wrong.

On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Ortiz said that he was as happy as anyone else when he heard the news Rebney had been shown the door and Strikeforce founder Scott Coker was tapped to take his place.

"I was so happy," Ortiz said. "I was real calm. Bjorn Rebney just made empty promises. He promised so much and he never followed through. At all."

While Ortiz wouldn't name specific promises Rebney allegedly broke, he said there was an issue that would have kept him from fighting Alexander Shlemenko in May. Ortiz claimed he had to fight enforce language in his contract.

"I'm not going into detail, [but it was] things I had battle for in my contract," Ortiz said. "He says 'no, we're not going to do that.' [I said] 'it's in my contract, you have to.' It came down to the last two weeks before fight and then he finally came through, he had no choice.

"I would not have fought," Ortiz added. "There was a contract in place, it's business, I'm not 22 years old anymore. I'm not a young kid struggling to get to the top. I've been to the top, I gotta look out for my best interests as a businessman in this fight game. At the end of the day, it is a business. I've got children to take care of, I've got bills to pay. This is my job, that fight."

With that in the past, Ortiz, who headlines the Nov. 15 card in San Diego against Stephan Bonnar, has good words for Coker, which is consistent with nearly everyone who has done business with the new Bellator CEO.

"Scott Coker, I've known him such a long time, he's always been a straight shooter," Ortiz said. "He's always been very, very respectful towards me. He understands the business. He understands marketing and how to push the fighters to make them superstars in a household environment."