Last week a video emerged of Matt Mitrione and Tito Ortiz getting into a heated verbal confrontation during the UFC fighters Summit in Las Vegas, but it wasn’t exactly clear what had started it, and what was being said.
Luckily Mitrione was on hand on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to explain what went down.
First off, though the video taken by Roy Nelson missed it, it turns out that Ortiz actually got physical at the start of the argument.
“He was talking to Roy, he was sitting down, I walked up and extended my hand, said, ‘Hey, I’m Matt.’ As he stood up he said, ‘Yeah, I know who you are,’ and he pushed me. All one movement,” Mitrione claims.
So that clears up why Mitrione looked fired up in the video clip that emerged on YouTube, and he went on to describe what the two were saying.
“I started to square up a little bit, and then he kept saying, like anybody who doesn’t really want to fight, they’re like ‘hit me, hit me then, hit me.’ Well, that’s stupid. That’s why, in the video, I was like, ‘Well, you’re the one being aggressive. If you want to be aggressive, then let’s scrap. I came and introduced myself. I didn’t come up here to fight you.'”
Some of you might be puzzled as to why Ortiz reacted angrily in the first place. The reason is that on a previous edition of The MMA Hour, Mitrione made a joke at Ortiz’ partner Jenna Jameson’s expense, referencing her past as a famous porn star.
On reflection the heavyweight prospect can understand why Ortiz may have been a little hot under the collar.
“I respect the fact that Tito is married to a woman named Jenna. I respect that. Jenna Jameson is a character. Jenna Massoli is his wife. And I understand that. I don’t make fun of anybody’s wives; I made fun of a public character. And I understand that’s his baby mamma, or wife, or whatever she is to him. I understand that, so I can understand where there’s feelings and sentiment.”
Having said that, Mitrione also lets it be known that he’s more than happy to settle his differences with Ortiz in the Octagon if that’s what the former champion wants.
“‘Just to let you know,” Mitrione recalls telling Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta after the incident, “If Tito really wants to run his mouth about this…I will cut down to as close as to 205 as possible, or hopefully you’d let me do 225 as a catchweight, and I will kick his ass.’ So all these boys who say I’ll never fight him, I told Dana and I told Mr. Fertitta that I wanted to cut weight to whoop his a– if he would take that fight.”
Realistically that fight is never going to happen given the size difference between them, and the fact that they both already have fights lined up in the near future, with Ortiz bout against Ryan Bader essentially being a do or die showdown as far as his UFC career goes.