Tito Ortiz hopes Conor McGregor learns from the mistakes Ortiz made.
McGregor's recent dispute with the UFC over promotional duties has taken over the MMA world. Everyone from fighters, to fans, to media members have voiced an opinion on the standoff. But now one of the the UFC's biggest former stars who also had his share of issues with the promotion has thrown his voice into the throng. In an interview with Chael Sonnen on Sonnen's podcast, Ortiz talked about his own history of fighting the UFC and what he thinks about Conor's decision to do similarly.
"I don't know, it's just one of those things. I made some bad decisions with the UFC, with Dana and I've been talked bad about from them from Dana, and I look back on it and wish I would have done things a lot different. I just, I hope Conor makes the right decisions, and at the same time, but makes the decision for his future."
Ortiz is no stranger to UFC ire. He was one of the most notoriously difficult fighters to deal with during his heyday, and his spats with UFC management and Dana White are well documented. Most of his disputes came down to feeling undervalued and underpaid by the promotion.
Ortiz was the company's biggest star for a number of years when stars were lacking, and the UFC was still trying to find it's footing. When Ortiz was the light heavyweight champion, he refused to fight during a contract dispute causing the UFC to create an interim title fight betweem Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. In another famous incident, after sitting out for over a year, Ortiz resigned with the UFC on the condition he could box Dana White. The fight never came to fruition but Dana White never lost the animosity towards Ortiz, even going so far as to release UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar from his contract with the UFC to go to Bellator to "beat the shit out of" Ortiz . Suffice it to say, Ortiz understands the dynamics of a star going against his promoter and had his own take on how the McGregor situation will play out.
"He's only 28. Let him sit out for a little bit. Let him see how much money the other fighters can make the UFC. Which they can. The UFC, they are the star. They're gonna make the money. They'll keep bringing more and more fighters in and Conor's going to miss out on a year or two and then he'll have to cave in and ask what Dana and Lorenzo [Fertitta] want him to do...
"We're fighters. We go out there and we'll open a window of opportunity and they're only open for so long and we have to take advantage of that time right then. When I did it, I was 30-31 years old maybe it was a little too late that I should have did it but I did it right. I was okay with the money that I got, the money that I made. So hopefully Conor makes the right decision."
Ortiz notes that at the time he was battling with the UFC, he had no previous fighter to look to and see how to handle things. He was the first major star to butt heads with Zuffa over business and doing so likely cost him money. In the short term he was able to negotiate slightly better contracts for himself but in the long term some of his prime fighting years were spent in standoffs and there is certainly lost equity in angering your employer, especially when they are also your matchmaker.
"The window is really, really small. I think the best decision is doing what Lorenzo and Dana want him to do. They're going to take care of the kid as they've already done and I think it's just going to be better if they just do the right things. I made the wrong decision myself in my career. I tried to battle against the system. I should have never done that but I didn't have anybody else who showed me how to do it before. I did everything on instinct....
"Trust has always been a hard issue in my life and when I was with the UFC it was hard for me to trust people because it was like I was seeing lies, up to lies, up to lies. So I think that at this time Conor should trust Lorenzo and trust Dana and do the right decision."
Recently, Colin Cowherd made statements arguing that McGregor battling Zuffa is a fruitless endeavor because they have the time and resources to win the war. It seems Ortiz agrees with this general sentiment and would caution McGregor to make the most money in the time that he can because MMA is short and unforgiving. At the end of the day, Ortiz says it is easier and more profitable to go with the flow than to try and swim upstream.
"I think it comes down to the longevity and how long you'll be in the sport. This job has to pay for your future and that's why I ended up coming back. My job needed to pay for, not my future but my children's future. I have three boys and I want to make sure they have everything I never had as a kid so it is saving my money by doing the right things, investing in the right areas but at the same time not being crazy by spending my money the wrong way. I've been in this game almost nineteen years, the thirtieth of this month will be nineteen years that I've been competing, and I can look back on it and I've made some bad decision, I've made some great decisions, but at the end of the day I think fighting against the UFC is the wrong way to do it."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
RIP. Bellator's Jordan Parsons passed away as a result of a hit-and-run incident.
18-month layoff. UFC targeting Robbie Lawler vs. Tyron Woodley title fight for UFC 201.
Main event. UFC targeting Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko for UFC on Fox 20.
Rematch. T.J. Dillashaw in talks to rematch Raphael Assuncao at UFC 200.
Dr. Charles Bernick. Cleveland Clinic is first to track 'brain function over time' in sports.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Nikita Krylov. BloodyElbow.com's Karim Zidan's longform on Nikita Krylov and the conflict in his home country of Ukraine.
DC does an excellent interview with Colin Cowherd.
Honestly I think Khan vs. McGregor at Croke Park in 2018 is our destiny.
Dan Hardy is a good analyst.
A follow up on Struve from Tuesday.
AXS just posted this fight. It's from a couple of months ago but it is a very exciting comeback.
This was a terrible tragedy. Thoughts are with his family, friends, and teammates.
Jordan I'm so so so sorry bro...— Anthony Johnson (@Anthony_Rumble) May 4, 2016
We miss you already! Say hi to my pop for me and all of the other legends in... https://t.co/uDoZzYPacW
It also appears that WEC and Bellator veteran Blas Avena has died. RIP and condolences to his family and friends as well.
I have no words to express RIP To a good friend Blas Avena great… https://t.co/XT1gI2br6C— Javier Torres (@JavierTorresMMA) May 4, 2016
Lauren Murphy is none too pleased.
FUCK!!!— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) May 5, 2016
Fucking bullshit https://t.co/dXuOoMGN1V
Can't blame Holly. I'm surprised she accepted any fight other than Tate or Rousey.
The Spartan is quietly an excellent Twitter follow.
Guess Jon Jones was handling that one. :) https://t.co/NZtHzQfbet— The Spartan (@EliasTheodorou) May 4, 2016
Mark Hunt isn't the only friend of the Rock it seems.
Can't stop, won't stop.
The Bad Guys aren't done with you just yet Anderson.. pic.twitter.com/QsHp54wIwL— Chael Sonnen (@sonnench) May 5, 2016
Cool to see the fruits of drilling.
One of his last posts before the hit-and-run.
Never forget that you are blessed! Another day is another opportunity to right those wrongs or reach those goals you are so afraid to dream of!!!!! Love yourself. Believe in yourself. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!! I believe in you! #you #believeinyou #motivation #believe #confidence #conquer #fight #beast #beastmode #strength #growth #love #yourself #yourchoice #feast #obstacles #destiny #battle #doubt #success #desire #dreams #goals #motivation #strive #reach #newlook #dailyinsta
He's no Kyrie Irving but not bad at all.
Jon Tuck (9-2-0) vs. Josh Emmett (9-0-0); UFC Fight Night 87, May 8.
Gilbert Melendez (22-5-0) vs. Edson Barboza (17-4-0); UFC on Fox 20, July 23.
Eddie Wineland (21-11-1) vs. Frankie Saenz (11-3-0); UFC on Fox 20, July 23.
Alexandre Almeida (18-5-0) vs. Lance Palmer (10-2-0); WSOF 32, July 30.
Shannon Wiratchai (4-1-0) vs. Kyal Linn Aung (1-0-0); One FC-Kingdom of Champions, May 27.
Pongsiri Mitsatit (6-0-0) vs. Ye Thway Ne (0-0-0); One FC-Kingdom of Champions, May 27.
Kritsada Konsrichai (3-2-0) vs. Kev Hemmorior (0-0-0); One FC-Kingdom of Champions, May 27.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2003: Deep: 9th Impact was held in Tokyo, Japan, an event featuring future WWE wrestlers Alberto del Rio and Brazo de Plata (known in the WWE as Super Porky) as well as luchador Electroshock. All three were defeated.
2006: The first round of Pride's 2006 open-weight tournament was held at Pride Total Elimination Absolute. In the first round, Josh Barnett submitted Aleksander Emelianenko with a keylock, Mark Hunt knocked out Tsuyoshi Kohsaka,Fabricio Werdum tapped Alistair Overeem with a kimura, Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera submitted Wagner Martins with an armbar, Mirko Cro Cop stopped Ikuhisa Minowa with punches, Hidehiko Yoshida submitted Yosuke Nishijima with a triangle choke, and Kazuyuki Fujita knocked out James Thompson. Originally, heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenkowas supposed to receive a first round bye however an injury caused him to be replaced and Wanderlei Silva who received his bye.
At WEC 20: Cinco de Mayhem, Brian Olsen defended his WEC heavyweight championship over Mike Kyle when Kyle was DQ'ed for striking and soccer kicking Olsen after the bell. Elsewhere on the card, Lodune Sincaid won the vacant WEC light heavyweight championship defeating Dan Molina with a rear-naked choke. Also, Eddie Wineland won the inaugural WEC bantamweight championship by defeating Antonio Banuelos via head kick and follow up punches.
2010: Ulysses Gomez defeated Luis Gonzales by unanimous decision for the inaugural Tachi Palace Fights flyweight championship at the very originally named, TPF 4: Cinco de Mayhem. Also at the event, David Mitchell defeated Tim McKenzie by guillotine choke in the first round to win the inaugural Tachi Palace Fights welterweight championship.
2012: Nate Diaz secured a shot at the UFC lightweight title by submitting Jim Miller with a guillotine choke in the second round of UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller. Also that evening, John Lineker almost made his flyweight debut, coming in at 127 lbs for a fight with Louis Gaudinot which Lineker lost by guillotine in the second round. It was the first of many times Lineker would miss weight.
1987: UFC strawweight Cortney Casey was born.
1981: Former Sengoku and Deep lightweight champion and current UFC featherweight Mizuto Hirota was born.
1976: TUF 1 cast member Alex Schoenauer was born.
Think I missed a spot? Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.