Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and UFC president Dana White have had an up-and-down relationship throughout Ortiz’ mixed marital arts career. Ortiz fought for the final time on Saturday at Bellator 170, defeating Chael Sonnen by submission in the first round. White sent him a congratulatory text following the fight.
“He actually sent my girlfriend (Amber Nichole Miller) a text message because she used to work for the UFC and they always talk back and forth. 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.’ I guess it’s that love-hate relationship that we’ve got with each other. I guess thank you Dana for the text saying, ‘that’s the way you should go out, on top,'” Ortiz told ESPN.
When Ortiz’ career began in 1997, White was his manager and later became his boss. Miller was a long-time ring card girl for the UFC. Ortiz and White’s relationship deteriorated to the point that they were once scheduled to box each other. With Ortiz’ fighting career over, the two seem to have buried the hatchet.
“I love the guy, man. He was my first manager. I just always fought for what I wanted for my career. That’s what I always fought for. No hard feelings. I’ve grown up a lot over the last four years,” said Ortiz. “I’ve done a lot of things business-wise. I’m looking to my future. I made some mistakes before and I’ll never make those mistakes again.”