Tito Ortiz: Felt like Jon Jones stabbed me in the back

Friday, September 07, 2012

In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, Jon Jones was asked what it felt like when UFC President Dana White blasted him for declining a last minute fight with Dan Henderson, after which UFC 151 cancelled.

“I do everything they ask me to do,” said Jones. “I really do, and you know, it really hurt man, it hurt to be on the different spectrum, to be compared to Tito Ortiz. I don’t complain about money, I don’t complain about anything, I do what I’m told.”

Ortiz took offense at the comment, initially via Twitter.

“@JonnyBones I’m disappointed in u,” tweeted Tito. “When no one else had your back I did. The only reason u make the money u do is because I fought & spoke out no other fighters would. The next time u are riding in your Bentley remember who fought for the fighters. If not u maybe riding in a truck. #noonehadtheballtostandthereground.”

Ortiz expanded upon the remarks in an appearance on MMAWeekly Radio (see entire interview at bottom).

“The situation happened with 151. He was supposed to fight Chael. Well, actually he was supposed to fight Dan Henderson. He gets hurt the week before the fight, then they say you’re going to fight Chael and he said no way and caught a bunch of flack from it.

“All of the fighters said he isn’t a true fighter and nobody has ever done this before and, it’s crazy, I thought it was crazy. And I stood up for the kid.

“I like Jon Jones. I think he’s a great champion. I think he’s a great guy. I’ve hung out with him in Vegas and I really took a liking to the kid because he’s, I think he’s the next best great thing.

“Then, all of a sudden, I heard an interview from him saying, ‘People need to stop comparing me to Tito Ortiz because I don’t talk about money.’ And, I took it very heartfelt, that was like a stab to my back. I stood up for you when no one else did, I stood up for you and you turn around and say something like that?

“You have to understand, when you drive around in your Bentley, or, I don’t know if he even has it anymore since he wrecked it into a tree, but when you’re driving around in your Bentley, you have to understand, I’m the person who put my life on the line and my career and my image and my name on the line to take everything I did to battle for the type of contracts that you have, for the money that you’re making.

“If it wasn’t for the things I’ve battled for and I took all the bad image because of it, you’d be driving around in a Toyota right now. Fighters need to understand and respect guys on my level that I took a lot of flack to negotiate and battle for what I believed in. It wasn’t a factor of talking about money, it was a factor of what I believed I was worth. That’s been my whole career.

“I was going out and I was doing the main press. I was going out and doing the reality shows and doing the wrestling stuff and always being a person outside of the box of not just being a fighter and I was believing what I was worth and I was trying to raise the bar for all fighters and I think I’ve done that.

“And for him to say the things he’s saying that, ‘I’m not like Tito Ortiz because I don’t talk about money.’ Don’t disrespect me like that man, I’ve had your back when no one else did. That’s all I said and I was just disappointed. I was very, very disappointed with Jon.

“Maybe he is just young, maybe he is just 22 or 23-years old and he doesn’t know, maybe the stardom is getting to his head. Like I said, I took a liking to Jon Jones, but I was just disappointed in that interview I read. That’s all I got to say about that.”