Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion and current Bellator fighter Tito Ortiz took to Twitter earlier this afternoon to defend wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan following a scandal that compelled WWE to immediately terminate his contract.
Ortiz posted a photograph on Twitter of himself with Hogan, followed by statements telling the public to "relax" about the incident:
@HulkHogan is a real America & far from a racist.Trying 2smear his name is embarrassing.We stand behind U #HulkHogan pic.twitter.com/27ffUtDSDy— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) July 24, 2015
In a followup tweet, Ortiz wrote, "What ever happened to 'Sticks & stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?' Ppl need to relax. #HulkHogan is a good man."
Hogan responded to Ortiz on Twitter, thanking him for the support.
Ortiz worked for TNA in 2013 as a member of Aces & Eights while Hogan was also working there. "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" indicated that he grew up idolizing the wrestler, who popularized the World Wrestling Federation in the early 1980s and became one of the decades most remembered characters.
Hogan's world came crashing down in the past 24 hours with revelations by RadarOnline.com and The National Enquirer that an unauthorized sex tape from 2012 included a conversation in which the professional wrestling icon unleashed an attack on African Americans, using the n-word and other insults.
"I don't know if Brooke was f***ing the black guy's son. I mean, I don't have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f***ing n****s. But, then when it comes to nice people and s***, and whatever. I mean, I'd rather if she was going to f*** some n*****, I'd rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n***** worth $100 million! Like a basketball player!"
In the tape Hogan is speaking about his daughter Brooke, whom he speculates is romantically linked to a black man.
On Friday, WWE released a statement confirming the termination of its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan), adding the organization is, "committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide."