by Jose Rodriguez of the Calgary Sun
Beating up on his boss
Ortiz has clash clause in contract
by Jose Rodriguez, Managing Editor of the Calgary Sun
It’s every working stiff’s dream. A chance to punch out the boss without getting summarily turfed.
Tito Ortiz, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s flamboyant motormouth, plans to do just that.
“I’m gonna try to take his head off,” Ortiz said of UFC president Dana White.
Former friends Ortiz and White had a parting of the ways early last year over Ortiz’s contract.
The ‘Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ left the UFC in early 2005 after the simmering feud between him and White boiled over.
But in the world of fight promotion, profit potential tends to trump bad blood every time. Late last year, White announced Ortiz had been re-signed to a three-fight contract and would become the Season 3 coach of the ultra-popular reality-TV show The Ultimate Fighter.
But before Ortiz signed on the dotted line, he had a special clause added to the contract.
“We have a little agreement in the contract that we’re going to spar boxing for three three-minute rounds,” said Ortiz.
White, an amateur boxer and fight manager before buying the UFC in 2000, said in a recent Playboy interview he gave up on his dream to be a pro boxer because he “didn’t have it.”
Ortiz is hopeful a little spilled blood between the two will help mend fences.
“Me and Dana were best of friends before this company took off,” said Ortiz.
“He was my manager and he was a good friend of mine. It’s someone who I love but at the same time I hate him and I think that after we punch each other in the face a few times we might be able to fix that bridge between us and let bygones be bygones.”
But before Ortiz gets to take his frustrations out on the boss, he must first go through a man he has absolutely no intention of mending fences with.
Ken Shamrock, the other coach of the TUF3 series, and Ortiz will square off in a feature match July 8 in Las Vegas. The event, UFC 61: Bitter Rivals, will also feature a world heavyweight title bout between champ Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski.
If Ortiz dislikes White, his feelings for Shamrock can best be described as downright disdain.
“I hate the guy,” said Ortiz, who at 31 has already spent nearly a decade in ultimate fighting.
He explains his hatred for Shamrock — which is both deep rooted and well chronicled — by saying two alpha male pitbulls can’t exist in the same room.
“Though he’s more of a poodle than a pitbull,” he said, laughing.
“I really want to finish him in devastating fashion. That may sound barbaric but I’m a well-trained athlete and he’s trying to be a well-trained athlete and he’s going to come up short on July 8.”
Ortiz, who many describe as the most-hated man in the UFC, says he doesn’t mind being despised.
“The boos are OK, man,” he said.
“Someone has to be the goat. Sacrifice me, that’s fine. I really don’t have any problems with it.”
Following the July 8 fight with Shamrock, Ortiz is taking a little time to chill. He plans to unwind with friends at the Calgary Stampede.