Sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you.
Well, maybe not names, but a sly verbal jab seems to get under former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz’s skin, and it resulted in a bit of a Twitter war with his employer, UFC president Dana White.
The UFC put out a video showcasing former champion Chuck Liddell in his new ‘executive’ role, and during the comedic clip, the ‘Iceman’ took a few shots at his old rival Tito Ortiz. Apparently, Ortiz didn’t like the comments very much and he responded in kind on his Twitter account.
White and Ortiz have one of the most famous, or maybe infamous, relationships in the history of MMA. In this situation however, White insists that he’s not going back to war with Ortiz now just because of a few back-and-forth encounters on Twitter.
It did, however, remind him of those days.
“Here’s the thing about that, what’s ridiculous, it wasn’t meant to disrespect. The video itself it plays up the rivalry between Chuck and Tito, and Chuck makes fun of himself getting knocked out. It’s a fun video that wasn’t meant to hurt anybody. I’m sure many of you know what happened after that. He gets on and starts tweeting, and then Jenna (Jameson) jumps in, it’s crazy,” White commented on Friday.
“I don’t want to start a fight with Tito again, but this is how petty and ridiculous it gets sometimes.”
The Twitter argument started to get heated and ugly with exchanges between White and Ortiz’s girlfriend, former adult actress Jenna Jameson.
Add to that Ortiz was a bit outspoken about not being invited to appear at the UFC Fan Expo in Toronto during the UFC 129 festivities, but again, White won’t take the bait.
Well, maybe just a little.
“The last thing I want to do is get into a beef with Tito. I’m cool with Tito; I don’t hate Tito. But Tito talks too much,” said White. “What Tito needs to do… Tito just pulled out of a fight because of stitches. I’ve got guys on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ who fight with stitches. I’m being serious.
“Tito you need to focus on your fight. You’re fighting for your career right now. The last thing you need to be doing is sitting and signing autographs. You need to be home training and getting ready for your next fight. And stay off Twitter, Tito.”
Ortiz will literally be fighting for his UFC career in July when he faces former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Ryan Bader in Las Vegas as a part of UFC 132. The “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” is 0-4-1 in his last five fights inside the Octagon, but the promotion wants to give the Octagon legend another shot to prove himself.
Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.