The MMA rumor mill was buzzing recently with talks of Zuffa possibly selling their UFC promotion for around $3.5-$4 billion. According to reports, one term of the sale would be that Dana White steps down as UFC president.
White has since stated the rumors of a sale are false. However, should it turn out that Dana is simply trying to keep the UFC’s private business under wraps and the company does end up selling, former UFC light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz thinks it would be a terrible business move to show his former manager and boss the door.
“I think the promotion would completely fail. I think it would crash and burn, that’s my opinion,” Ortiz told SiriusXM Rush. “I think Dana does a great job with the promotion. Sometimes we don’t agree on the same things but that’s just between me and him. Like I say, it’s a girlfriend-boyfriend type of relationship, him being the girlfriend of course.”
Dana and Tito have a long history of feuding – dating back to the early 2000s when Ortiz held the promotion’s 205lb title – which makes Ortiz’s words regarding Dana and his management of the UFC seem all the more sincere.
“Dana does a great job with what he does and that’s why the company is worth $4 billion,” Ortiz continued. “Lorenzo (Fertitta, UFC CEO) has stepped in and is doing an amazing job – from stepping down from Station Casinos – for what he does now. And giving the opportunity to Cris (Cyborg), I’m very thankful for that. But at the end of the day this is a business to them and if they’re able to sell it off for four billion, do what’s needed.”
Ortiz retired from MMA in 2012 following his loss to fellow former champ Forrest Griffin at UFC 148. However, he came out of retirement to sign with rival promotion Bellator, and has since gone 2-1 in the Viacom-owned promotion. He is coming off a submission loss to 205lb champ Liam McGeary last September, and has stated that his next fight will be the last of his pro MMA career.