Dana White has added his $0.02 to the already thick cloud of rumor and speculation around Tito Ortiz and who he'll be fighting for in the future. From an interview with USA Today's Sergio Non:
I read recently that Tito supposedly is negotiating with UFC again. If that's the case, how did that come about?
As part of his contract, he goes out and ... I don't know, something to do with his contract, but he's still got his foot in the door with his contract. As part of our business practice in this crazy world these days, we — let me think how I can word this to you.
Take your time.
Yeah, probably going to have to.
I always say, we make this thing look a lot easier than it really is, and we're definitely not going to make it easy for anybody else. We're going to make things tough for other people.
It sounds like you're saying basically you have certain negotiation rights with Tito.
Yup, and I'm going take them.
This is why I get angry with White, Zuffa and the UFC. They've got a pattern of manipulating their (already grossly one-sided) contracts to force fighters to sit out long periods of time before they can leave the promotion.
They did it to Arlovski, Brandon Vera (who broke down and resigned with them), and now Tito.
Sure business is business, but being a dick is being a dick and this is a straight-up dick move on Dana's part. If they honestly want to resign Tito then more power to them, but if they're just using lawyers and clauses in the contract to keep Tito on the bench, that's a lame thing to do.
Fighters have very short windows in which to achieve their career goals, it's unethical in my opinion to force them to sit out months or even years.