In the early morning hours of Jan. 6, former UFC light heavyweight champion and recently signed Bellator MMA fighter Tito Ortiz was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after crashing his Porsche on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, Calif.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney recently addressed Ortiz’ arrest during a media conference call.
“I’m torn on the incident,” said Rebney. “It’s never a good thing for a world-class athlete to have an injury, especially when he’s looking at kind of potentially to recapture past glory and get back on the comeback trail, simultaneously, obviously, we take DWIs and drunk driving ridiculously seriously.”
Ortiz had two passengers in the car at the time, but no one suffered any injuries in the accident, according to the police report of the incident.
“My hope is that he can put that behind him. Thankfully, no one, including himself, was injured in the situation. That is the most important thing,” said Rebney.
“It’s a serious issue. It’s not a joke. It’s a serious issue. It’s something we take seriously. It’s something everybody should take seriously. That’s basically my take on it. I’ll deal with that independently with Tito.”
Ortiz is under contract with Bellator, but his fighting future is uncertain. He was scheduled to face Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on Nov. 2, but was forced out of the bout after suffering a fractured neck in training. He is currently recuperating from the injury, but whether he’ll ever return remains unclear.