When news broke earlier this week that former UFC fighters were banding together to sue ZUFFA LLC for violating antitrust laws, MMA fans were expecting to see several deposed combatants with a "Axe" to grind, like Pete Rose'd middleweight Wanderlei Silva.
Or perhaps even Tito Ortiz, who is no stranger to having his name dragged through the mud by UFC President Dana White.
But just like his UFC 25 opponent, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" was nowhere to be seen when Jon Fitch, Cung Le, and Nate Quarry announced their intention to join a class-action lawsuit against their former employer. Surely Ortiz would be looking for payback after taking it on the chin for so many years?
Not a chance, according to his attorney George Prajin, who told MMA Junkie that Ortiz was asked twice to come on board, but was not about to let personal feelings get in the way of good business.
"Obviously, everybody wants a better situation for the fighters, as far as pay and benefits. But Tito just felt that at that particular time, he wanted to opt out, because mainly, they were using him for the publicity aspect, and he didn't want to lend his name to it. He feels that he's building bridges with Zuffa, and he didn't want to be the face of a lawsuit against them, because he'd like to work things out and have a professional relationship with that organization in the future."
Ortiz once compared UFC employment to "slavery."
Even so, Ortiz already found out firsthand what it can be like trying to represent a fighter without having the cooperation of the world's largest combat sports promotion. Following his short stint as a manager, the UFC hall of famer got back into the cage to finish up his career in Bellator, which is kind of like Bizarro UFC.
In UFC, the fighters sue the promotion. In Bellator, the promotion sues the fighters.