Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight titleholder Conor McGregor is not the first mixed martial arts (MMA) combatant to try to take a stand against promotion president Dana White and Co., nor is he the first one to retire as champion and then come back.
Just ask this guy.
Now, the fighter who spent over a decade in a public love-hate relationship with UFC is speaking out about the "Notorious" Irishman, who refused to participate at the upcoming UFC 200 pay-per-view (PPV) event over a disagreement about media commitments.
Tito Ortiz breaks it down for Chael Sonnen (transcribed by MMA Fighting):
"I made some bad decisions with the UFC, with Dana and I've been talked bad about from them from Dana, and I look back on it and wish I would have done things a lot different. I hope Conor makes the right decisions, and at the same time, but makes the decision for his future. He's only 28. Let him sit out for a little bit. Let him see how much money the other fighters can make the UFC. Which they can. The UFC, they are the star. They're gonna make the money. They'll keep bringing more and more fighters in and Conor's going to miss out on a year or two and then he'll have to cave in and ask what Dana and Lorenzo [Fertitta] what to do. The window is really, really small. I think the best decision is doing what Lorenzo and Dana want him to do. They're going to take care of the kid as they've already done and I think it's just going to be better if they just do the right things. I made the wrong decision myself in my career. I tried to battle against the system. I should have never done that but I didn't have anybody else who showed me how to do it before. I can look back on it and I've made some bad decisions, I've made some great decisions, but at the end of the day, I think fighting against the UFC is the wrong way to do it."
If anyone would know, it's Tito, who nearly ended up boxing White in real life.
McGregor has started to slowly-but-surely soften his stance on not fighting, as evidenced by these recent interactions on social media. In fact, his longtime coach is expecting a "Notorious" return at the upcoming UFC 202 event in late summer.
For more on the ongoing McGregor drama click here.