Following his Bellator 170 submission victory over Chael Sonnen on Saturday night, Ortiz told ESPN that his girlfriend and former UFC Octagon Girl Amber Nichole Miller received a text message from White.
“That’s the way you should go out, on top,” Ortiz said the message read. But it was actually not the first goodwill gesture Ortiz has received from White since he signed with Bellator.
“When I first signed with Bellator, Dana sent me focus mitts with his face on it, saying ‘If this doesn’t motivate you, nothing will.’ So I guess that’s our love-hate relationship we got towards each other.”
Love-hate is probably the best way to put it as Ortiz and Dana White have made a lot of money together when Ortiz was one of the company’s top stars in the early years on Spike TV. Tense contract negotiations soured the relationship. Ortiz also famously requested a boxing match with White as a condition in his contract, which turned into a Spike TV special that saw White train for the fight and obtain a boxing license only for Ortiz to no-show when it came time for the match.
With all of the history between the two, Ortiz claims it’s all in the past. “I love the guy, man. He’s my first manager.”
Hiscoe’s Analysis: It was kind of Dana White to send Tito a congratulatory text after his win. White has been known to hold a grudge and blast fighters he’s had issues with on Twitter while they fight for other organizations, particularly after bad losses, so it’s nice to see him take the high road here and it was nice to see Tito go out on top, even if it meant he had to stick around a little longer than he needed to in order to make it happen.
MONDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Cody Garbrandt posted a picture of himself with T.J. Dillashaw to his Instagram account from their days training together. Both are wearing Garbrandt’s “No Love” t-shirt. Garbrandt posted the picture with the caption, “You already know what team this little bitch wants to be on!! @tjdillashaw I’m going to expose you for the scumbag that you are!”
-On today’s edition of “The MMA Hour,” Tim Kennedy admitted that using former Bellator head Bjorn Rebney as a public face of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association may have been a mistake.
-A battle of top flyweights has been made for the March 11 UFC Fight Night from Fortaleza featuring Jussier Formiga and Ray Borg.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/22: Tito Ortiz soundly defeats Chael Sonnen in his farewell MMA fight (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)