Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White recently revealed a proposed deal between his mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion and the all-female fight promotion, Invicta FC, which would have allowed Cristiane Santos to fight for Invicta while under a UFC contract in which ZUFFA would pay for all the bills.
The partnership deal, however, was shot down by Tito Ortiz and his 360 Primetime Management team which left White scratching his head.
Appearing on "The MMA Hour" today (Feb. 18, 2013), Ortiz explained why they turned down the UFC contract and chose to sign with Invicta straight up on their own:
"I wanted to get it down, I tried to negotiate with Dana and make the fight happen in a four-fight deal with the UFC. They thought about it, they came back two days later and came back and said no, they want to do an eight-fight deal. There really wasn't no direction. Either way, we tried to make the (Rousey) fight happen and let Cris control her own fate. The UFC said we will sign her and see what happens. Who can accept that? Plus, he wasn't offering her what she really deserved as the other half of the super fight. As we control her fate, she wins the (Invicta) belt; she has a stronger reorganization for what her value is. Why shouldn't she benefit like Ronda in the UFC and from the fight? I think going to Invicta is the only way to make it happen. The UFC is only giving her one weight to make and that's 135, when she's been fighting at 145 for her entire career. To make 135 is impossible for her."
For Tito, it was all about compensating her "poor" client the money she deserves and also snuck in the fact that only two fighters in the history of MMA have been taken care of by the UFC after their fighting careers came to an end:
"If they still work together the door is not shut. Dana gave me front row tickets to see the Ronda Rousey fight. They are being cool, they are being nice. Now, if we signed with Bellator, that would be shutting doors. We are working with companies that are working with the UFC and that I what it is truly about. Signing an eight-fight deal with increments that didn't really go up at all. When Cris came to me. She said, ‘Tito, I'm a world champion. I have a leather belt around my waist with a gold medallion on it. I have nothing else. That's all I have. I'm sick of being poor. I am a world champion.' Word champions are supposed to be millionaires. World champions are supposed to put their lives on the line for millions of dollars that the promotions are making. Well, you know what? Zuffa and UFC are billionaires, so cough it up. So cough it up and let's make these fighters money. These fighters are putting their life on the line as I did for 15 years and let's make these fighters millionaires. Let's take care of them so they don't have to worry about teaching classes or do autographs to make money. Let's take care of them so that there is some type of retirement fund. Some type of Hall of Fame retirement fund so when we do retire and we are done, we're taken care of. There is only two people that are taken care of from the history of the UFC and they are Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes. What about all the rest of us? I don't take it personal, it's just business."
How about it Maniacs, does the turning down of the initial UFC contract on the part of Team "Cyborg" make more sense to you now after hearing from her manager?