The angle the UFC played up on the UFC 133 Countdown show of drama with Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans' first fight was to focus on their cageside confrontation at UFC 69. The two men talked briefly before Ortiz shoved Rashad and had a crowd break them up. But there are some of us who remember when things took a decidedly ugly turn after the UFC 69 shoving match. Let's rewind to 2007 for the fun.
Tito Ortiz hit up The Underground with this gem:
Rashad Evans!!! He will be my Nappy Headed Ho. On 7-7-07...Let The Punishment Begin!!! Tito Ortiz www.Punishment.com
This was just weeks after the Don Imus/Rutgers women's basketball team situation where Imus caused a major stir by calling the team "some nappy headed hos." The aftermath saw Imus released for the racially insensitive comment.
Tito's attempt to use a failed racially insensitive joke himself in reference to his African-American opponent was ill-advised but likely not malicious.
Still, the comments did lead to a response from Evans on an Albuquerque radio station (transcribed by MMA Junkie):
"That boy's a fool -- man, he's stupid. That's what he said for real? One, that's pretty ignorant. After that whole controversy, to go behind someone else's (back) and do the same stupid thing?
"Second of all, I'm black. My hair's not straight. My skin is black. My nose isn't small. Big lips -- whatever. I'm black. I'm proud to be black. Kinky hair, nappy hair -- whatever, that's what I am.
"The third thing is Tito, you know, he can't talk. I give him a challenge to grow his hair out because I think his hair is kinda kinky too. I think [Ortiz] is not from Mexico. I think [he] might be from Puerto Rico or Cuba or somewhere where some people with some African descent were there.
"I think he's frontin' about being Mexican. That's what I think. So I give him a challenge to grow his hair out, and we can see how kinky and dark it is once he quits dying it.
Honestly, the situation was relatively harmless but it obviously was not something that the UFC would like to see again.
The two men would continue to trash talk leading up to the fight and battle to a draw. After that fight both men took completely different career paths as Evans became one of the top light heavyweights in the world while Ortiz went on a several year losing streak.
We'll see tonight if Tito has one run left in him or if it will be Rashad challenging for the title again in his next fight.