UFC icon Tito Ortiz is used to cutting down to 205 pounds before a bout, but yesterday the former “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” shed weight of a different kind when given the chance to speak about his decision to sign with Bellator. During a press conference with media where Ortiz, upcoming opponent Quinton Jackson, and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney provided additional insight into plans for a PPV on November 2, the record-holding champion confirmed he wasn’t happy with the way he’d been ushered out the door in his previous place of employment.
“The company that I was with, I had to beg to be with it. I had to beg to be a part of it. A whole year went by and I waited and I no longer could wait anymore,” explained Ortiz in a comment captured by MMAFighting. “When I had someone barking at me, yelling at me, talking sh*t the whole time, I don’t want to be around that. Negativity just sucks the life out of somebody. Here at Bellator, with Viacom, this sport is just going to get bigger.”
The previously retired Ortiz went on to say one-upping the UFC or scoring a six-figure paycheck weren’t his motivation for coming back to the cage and competing. Rather, the 38-year old feels his career ended on a sour note based on the way his last Octagon appearance unfolded.
“My last fight left a bad taste in my mouth. I thought I won the fight. When you drop someone twice and take them down four times and smash their face and they go run out of the cage crying…I don’t understand how you lose the fight,” stated Ortiz on his decision defeat to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148.
Ortiz is 16-11-1 with notable wins over Ryan Bader, Vitor Belfort, and Griffin. However, it’s been more than two years since he emerged victorious and nearly seven since stringing together consecutive triumphs. The fight for Bellator will be his first outside of the UFC in 15 years.