When UFC legend Chuck Liddell retired from the sport in 2010 he was immediately given a job at UFC HQ, and another of the sport’s best known stars Tito Ortiz is hoping for the same treatment when he hangs up his gloves later this year.
Ortiz has already made it clear that his next fight, a rubber match with Forrest Griffin at UFC 148 on July 7th, will be his last, and though his success in the sport will ensure he’s not short of offers in terms of his career path after that, he wants to remain with the only promotion he’s ever been a part of.
“ESPN just came to me and offered me a job as an analyst,” Ortiz tells MMAJunkie. “But I went to Lorenzo [Fertitta] and told him, ‘I want to work for you guys.’ I want to work with the UFC. I started my career with the UFC. I never had an amateur career. I’ve been with the UFC since day one in 1997. I would love to end it with the UFC.”
You’d have to question whether the UFC would actually want Ortiz around though given that he’s had a somewhat rocky relationship with them, and in particular UFC president Dana White.
So much so in fact that at one stage it looked as if White was actually going to step into the ring to fight Ortiz in a boxing match. While that didn’t happen the two were at loggerheads behind the scenes, and at times in public too for a number of years, and at one point it seemed as if Ortiz wasn’t going to be retained by the company.
The two have since settled their differences, but their relationship is still volatile enough that it wouldn’t make good business sense for them to be in each other’s company on a daily basis.
Having said that White has always said that he’ll take care of the fighters who helped build the company and Ortiz certainly falls into that category.