This past Thursday, an unlikely duo joined together against a common enemy – who would have ever expected that? Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz, who have repeatedly beat the crap out of each other (and even had a whole season of “The Ultimate Fighter” to hype one of those bouts) appeared via satellite on “Off The Record” (OTR) with Michael Landsberg in a no holds barred interview. The pair talked about fighter pay and treatment, along with plenty of criticism on Dana White and how he takes too much credit for making the sport big, while Ken and Tito believe it was them and other fighters.
“(Myself) and Ken were probably the ones who sold the biggest pay-per- view fights to date.” Ortiz claimed during the interview, backed by Shamrock. “If Dana White didn’t have you (Tito Ortiz), Chuck (Liddell), me or Frank (Shamrock) – for him to be able to make the money off our back, our sweat, our blood. Where would he be?” said Shamrock.
“Dana White is an excellent promoter – He goes out and promotes the sport for what it is. But he’s not the one getting in the cage, that’s entertaining the fans who are watching and buying the pay-per views.” said Ortiz via satellite. “(These) fighters are the ones who are stepping in and putting our lives on the line and (providing) entertainment for fans to watch the fights.”
“When I came in,’ Shamrock added, “I told (Dana White) that I promise you that these (pay-per-view) buy rates will jump over 100,000 (purchases). He didn’t believe me. Then lied to me about what the buy rates were because he didn’t want to pay me what I was supposed to get. If anybody owes money, (Dana White) owes the fighters money.”
One topic brought up was the sport of boxing and how these athletes make far more money than MMA fighters. Ortiz believes UFC fighter salaries should be on par with boxers
“I look at a guy like Floyd Mayweather who makes 42 million dollars for a pay-per-view. What am I doing different that this guy is doing? I’m not just sparring, I’m going there trying to hurt a guy.
“I think you’re forgetting we’re the fighters, we’re putting on the show,” Ortiz added.
You can check out the full interview above, and you can catch Tito making his return to the cage at the first Bellator MMA pay-per-view on November 2.