Despite their love/hate relationship over the years, there is still some mutual respect between Tito Ortiz and current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White.
And the fact that White sent a text message to Tito’s girlfriend, Amber Nichole Miller, a former UFC Octagon girl to relay to Ortiz congratulating him on his first round submission win over Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170 last night (Sat., Jan.. 21, 2017), is proof of that.
"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" broke down the gist of the message to ESPN shortly after his victory.
"He actually sent my girlfriend a text message. She used to work for UFC and they always talk back and forth. When I first signed with Bellator, Dana sent me focus mitts with his face on it and said, ‘If this doesn’t motivate you, nothing will.’ So I guess it’s that love/hate relationship we have toward each other. But, thank you Dana for the text, saying that’s the way I should go out, on top. I mean, I love the guy, he was my first manager. I always just fought for what I wanted for my career. No hard feelings, I’ve grown up a lot over the last four years, and I’ve done a lot of things business-wise for my future. I’ve made mistakes before and I will never make those mistakes again."
Of course, it isn’t known if White still has Ortiz’s contact info or why he chose not to text him personally.
Nevertheless, it’s a rather mature and noble move on White’s part, who hasn’t been shy in expressing his disdain toward his former fighter, whom he managed before he promoted his fights with UFC.
Ortiz leaves mixed martial arts (MMA) after 20 years of action — 15 of which he spent with UFC -- as winner of three of his last four bouts inside the cage.
For complete Bellator 170 results and coverage click here.