Sports Illustrated anchor Maggie Gray initiated the conversation, asking Ortiz, "What’s it like to fight for Dana?"
"Um, I thought slavery was over a long time ago," responded a seemingly crestfallen Ortiz. "It’s one of those things where you can’t trust a word the man says. And when you can’t do that, how can you work for him."
Ironically, just one year ago, Ortiz willingly accepted his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame. It was an honor which had been reserved for only eight fighters, a list including Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, and Matt Hughes.
During his acceptance speech, an emotional Ortiz thanked White, who was also his former manager. "If it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be here right now," said Ortiz of UFC heads White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta. Ortiz launched his MMA career on May 30, 1997 with a first-round TKO of Wes Albritton at UFC 13 in Augusta, Ga.
But alas, it’s not a fight without a good counter-punch. During Wednesday evening’s UFC Fight Night media scrum in Indianapolis, White eagerly responded to Ortiz’s slavery accusation.
"How about this f–king moron coming out and saying he’s a slave?," asked White rhetorically. "Now I’m a ‘slave master’, or whatever Tito called me. That f–king buffoon . . . He’s a slave to stupidity."