Did these guys learn nothing from Fredo?
You don't ever take sides against the family, particularly the ZUFFA family, or you will pay the price. That's the message from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Vice President of Athlete Development, Matt Hughes, who thinks fellow Hall-of-Famers Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz got what they deserved by jumping ship when the price was right.
"The way I look at it, it was their decision. Randy [Couture] sued the UFC, he's left the UFC so he should know that there's going to be a little bad blood there from what's happened. I'm not saying the UFC's never done anything to Randy, that just comes to mind. Tito [Ortiz], the same way. I think he's badmouthed the UFC a little bit. I would say [this] about the UFC, if you're good to them, they're good to you. Those guys, there's certain times in their careers, weren't loyal to the UFC. So now they're paying the price."
Or karma, as UFC President Dana White calls it.
Couture had an on-again, off-again relationship with UFC. After attempting to walk away from the heavyweight title picture back in 2008, their contract dispute spilled over into the courts, but they eventually reconciled later that year. "The Natural" finished up his carer inside the Octagon, then left FOX high and dry when Bellator came calling.
As far as Tito, well, there isn't much to say that hasn't already been said before.
Naturally, there are two sides to every story and Hughes works for UFC, so his opinion is clearly subjective. But one can't help but wonder where both Couture and Ortiz would be at this stage of their respective careers had they opted to oil the machine.
At the very least, they probably wouldn't need to buy a ticket to UFC 167.