Friday, July 31, 2009

Who Blinked?

UFC Chairman Dana White and former UFC light heavyweight champion and MMA superstar Tito Ortiz have a well documented history of bad blood. Once Ortiz's contract ran out it was seen as the end of his career as a UFC fighter for good. In the intervening months White has taken every opportunity to trash Ortiz and call him a coward that you could possibly imagine. So I am more than a little curious as to how this came to be.

It was said that the bad blood between UFC President Dana White and former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz ran so deep that reconciliation wasn’t even a remote possibility. But after a twitter exchange between the two surfaced recently, fans began speculating that a return to the Octagon wouldn’t be too far off for ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.’ On Friday, White made it official, announcing Ortiz’ re-signing with the UFC during a media teleconference.

“Tito and I have history that pretty much everybody knows,” said White. “We have put all our differences aside, have squashed everything, and we’re ready to move forward. Tito Ortiz is still a guy that fans want to see fight, he just had back surgery, he’s getting back into training, he feels good and he’s ready to compete in the 205-pound division and take a shot at the title again. And Tito Ortiz will retire in the UFC.”

“I think time really cures everything,” said Ortiz. “Dana came to me and was a man of his word. He apologized to me for the things that he did prior, and for me, it (returning) was about competition. My fans deserve the best Tito Ortiz.”

Now this is even more curious when you consider the fact that the UFC has never been deeper in the light heavyweight division. It would seem that Ortiz needed the UFC a lot more than the UFC needed him. So what gives?

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