Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz (15-6-1) is in a good mood these days, now that his heated feud with UFC President Dana White is over. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” recently donned a “Dana is my bo$$” shirt at the UFC 103 weigh-ins last week, a far cry from the “Dana is my bi$$$” shirt he donned last year.
“I’m really happy, and I know that a lot of fans are happy, that me and Dana White’s thing is behind us now,” Ortiz recently told the Las Vegas Sun.
Ortiz began his career with the UFC over 12 years ago in 1997. But many thought Ortiz’s career with the organization was over in May 2008, when Ortiz decided not to re-sign following a loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 84. The fighter cited his frustration with White as a major factor in his decision not to re-sign.
“I love Dana like a brother, and brothers fight,” he said. “At the end of the day, I look at it now, and we’re going to give fans the best fights possible. Dana has been a man of his word, and me and him, we talk all the time. It’s awesome to have someone behind me where I started my career.”
With the drama behind him, Ortiz is looking forward to his high profile fight against Mark Coleman at UFC 106.
“I’m gonna crush him,” Ortiz emphatically stated. “I’m gonna push the tempo like he’s never had the tempo pushed against him.”
He shouldn’t have any problems “pushing the tempo” against Coleman, now that he is injury free. Ortiz told fans that he’s completely recovered from the back injury that troubled him for several years.
“To wake up every single day with no back problems. To wake up and not have to take Vicodin, to wake up and not have to ice my back after training, it’s the best feeling in the world,” he said.
Ortiz noted that he is planning on a win against Coleman, and then moving on to bigger things. The 205-pound fighter is hoping for a rematch with UFC legend Chuck Liddell, who he has lost to twice before.
“After he’s done with his little dancing thing, we’ll see. I would love it,” said Ortiz, who lost to Liddell at both UFC 47 and UFC 66. “I’m not afraid of anybody. I would love to do it again.”
He said he would also love to reclaim the light heavyweight title, currently held by Lyoto Machida.
“I’m still in the running at 34-years-old,” he said. “You look at (Randy) Couture at 46, (Chuck) Liddell being 40. I’m still only 34. I’ve got a lot of stuff to learn, a lot of stuff to do, and a lot of stuff to conquer. I want to be champion again.”
UFC 106: Lesnar vs. Carwin takes place live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev on Saturday, Nov. 21. The event is headlined by a UFC heavyweight title defense by Brock Lesnar against Shane Carwin.