by: Jack Bratcher
Dana White told Las Vegas radio personality, Steve Cofield that Lyoto Machida was his “assassin” he hand picked to beat Tito Ortiz. I knew it instinctively but to hear him actually verbalize it was an important confirmation. Dana had also said in the weeks leading up to UFC 84 that he wanted Tito to get he ass kicked and I just find it very intriguing that the president of the UFC, Tito’s boss, specifically “hired” a hit man to take out Ortiz. Ortiz has stated that “Dana wants to be a gangster” and when you hear him talk about Machida being his assassin, those parallels are easy to make. Although I don’t necessarily look at being a “gangster” such a bad thing any more as long as it’s just in spirit. You have to admit though when you look at someone like Tony Soprano, the way he talks and his personality are really not so different than Dana. They are both very powerful figures and make lots of money. They are both in charge of large organizations although of course Tony’s isn’t all on the up-and-up by any means. I’m not saying Dana is a bad guy. I’m not one of the Dana-bashers. I’m just saying that there is some comparisons and parallels that can be made between him and a gangster. But if you look in today’s society, being “gangster” is envied and idolized by many. How many Scarface posters and Godfather images are in homes all across the U.S.? There’s a whole genre of music centered around being “gangster” or rather “gangsta'”. I think it’s “gangsta” that Dana has taken a sport that was pretty much completely outlawed just a few years ago and has now made it legal in almost every state and has made the UFC an economic gold-mine. That’s pretty “gangster” if you ask me. I don’t believe Dana “wants to be a gangster” the way Tito meant it.
I heard an interviewer say something to Tito that I had been considering for some time; that Tito has abandonment issues in regard to Dana. Dana White was Tito’s manager in the early days of Tito’s mixed martial arts career. This was back in the days when there wasn’t alot of money in the sport and you could say they struggled. Then Dana turned Tito over to someone else and Dana went on to become the President of the UFC and build it into the powerhouse premier mixed martial arts organization that it is today. Every other mma organization is just a minor leaguer when compared to the UFC and as Dana says, “there’s not even a close second.” Threre are lots of other mixed martial arts organizations out there and even the best ones have only just a couple fighters that you could say are even close to being “star” material. All of the other organizations besides the UFC could have just one, maybe two events and use every one of their best fighters. The UFC has so many big names and many bright stars on the rise; not the least of which is Lyoto Machida. Obviously Lyoto must hold a special place in Dana’s reality. I would say he delivered absolutely perfect on his assassination of Tito Ortiz. Not only did he beat Ortiz decisively but he carried it out for three full rounds and made if a very intriguing match even allowing Ortiz to get him in a triangle just to get the crowd fired up enough to think that the Huntington Beach Bad Boy just might by some miracle pull off a victory. Maybe….just maybe, he’s not past his prime. Just maybe the assassin would fail, but it was not in the stars and the MMA Gods frowned on Tito and so did the judges as he lost every round on the judges’ cards.
Dana also said on the radio show that Tito has some kind of weird jealousy toward Dana and I believe this. I think Tito really envies Dana’s success and he hates that Dana makes all this money on doesn’t even have to get in the cage. That kills Ortiz; kills him. I really think Tito should just move on, find success outside the UFC and just leave that part of his life behind him. So to summarize, Dana is a gangster…but a good one…like a Robin Hood….well, almost if they could get those pay-per-view prices down a little. Lyoto Machida is one of Dana’s figurative assassins so be careful if you’re in the UFC and you start acting like Tito Ortiz you might find yourself sleeping with the fishes, figuratively of course. And Tito is a baby.