Ortiz took on Chael Sonnen last night at Bellator 170, in what the former UFC light-heavyweight champ had announced, would be the final fight of his career. Ortiz proceeded to take Sonnen down moments into the bout, and eventually secured a fight ending, choke.
If you’ve followed the career of Ortiz, then you know that he’s had a love / hate relationship with the UFC boss man to say the least, who at one time, was his manager. After fighting for the UFC from 1997 to 2012, yes, for fifteen years, Ortiz signed with Bellator in 2014.
“He (White) actually sent my girlfriend a text message. She used to work for UFC and they always talk back and forth. When I first signed with Bellator, Dana sent me focus mitts with his face on it and said, ‘If this doesn’t motivate you, nothing will.’ So I guess it’s that love/hate relationship we have toward each other. But, thank you Dana for the text, saying that’s the way I should go out, on top. I mean, I love the guy, he was my first manager. I always just fought for what I wanted for my career. No hard feelings, I’ve grown up a lot over the last four years, and I’ve done a lot of things business-wise for my future. I’ve made mistakes before and I will never make those mistakes again.”
There you have it. Now, even Ortiz critics, and White has been one of the most vocal, have to admit that it was a nice way for the 41 year-old to close out his career. Not only was Ortiz a pioneer for the sport, he was one of MMA’s first big stars, who achieved some mainstream recognition.