Personal feelings will not impair Tito Ortiz from getting a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame, this according to UFC President Dana White.
The tumultuous relationship between Ortiz and White has played out over the years like a soap opera, with a back and forth war of words, disparaging t-shirts being made, and even a proposed boxing match between employer and employee.
Ortiz and White were able to bury the hatchet when the former light heavyweight champion re-signed with the promotion in 2009, but it’s not to say they’ve become best friends since then either.
Regardless of their relationship, Ortiz’s history with the UFC can’t be denied. A former light heavyweight champion will multiple title defenses, as well as being the face of the UFC for several years will more than likely land him in the UFC Hall of Fame at some point.
“I’m sure he will be,” White answered when asked if Ortiz would get the recognition. “Him being in the Hall of Fame has nothing to do with our relationship.”
During his time with the UFC, Ortiz has gone 14-8-1 including his stint at the 205lb champion.
The ‘Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ may have a faster path to the UFC Hall of Fame if he’s not successful this weekend during his fight with Ryan Bader at UFC 132. If Ortiz doesn’t win, it will be the last time he walks into the UFC Octagon.
“He absolutely has to get this win to continue on,” White stated.
Ortiz comes into the bout with Bader having not won a fight since a 2006 TKO victory over Ken Shamrock. Since that time, he’s gone 0-4-1 with the draw coming against Rashad Evans in 2007.
His Hall of Fame credentials are clear however and any misgivings with the UFC’s boss won’t hinder Tito Ortiz from being celebrated as one of the promotion’s best ever.
Frank Shamrock, well that’s another story entirely.