May 25, 2008
LAS VEGAS -- Tito Ortiz is the center of the storm at the UFC 84 postfight press conference, which hasn't even officially begun as of this writing.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion, saying he was banned by UFC president Dana White, showed up uninvited as reporters were filing into the press conference, held in a conference room at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
He began to answer questions from a couple reporters before getting into an animated discussion with a UFC media relations employee.
Ortiz was told to leave, but refused after girlfriend Jenna Jameson told him to stay. The UFC decided to give Ortiz 10 minutes to speak before the official press conference, and Ortiz began answering questions.
UFC officials ended the press conference just as soon as it began, so reporters went up to the table to speak to Ortiz individually. At this point, yet another UFC flak showed up and announced Ortiz would be part of the regular press conference, a decision which absolutely ensure Ortiz will remain the focal point at the expense of the other fighters.
A grinning Ortiz has been sitting at the press table since this went down; four Las Vegas Metropolitan police officers were escorted into the press room.
More as the situation develops.
Update, 11:20 p.m. Pacific: Eventually, the official postfight press conference went down, with Ortiz seated with the other fighters at the podium. White, for his part, said he did not ban Ortiz from the room, and pointed out Ortiz was given the same opportunity to answer questions as the rest of the fighters. "He's here, he has a microphone in front of him, he'll get to talk," White said.
The rest of the press conference went off without a hitch, though there was one lively exchange in which Ortiz and White attempted to talk over each, with Ortiz calling UFC fighters "slaves" and White saying Ortiz wanted to be a star, not a fighter.
We'll have a full report on Ortiz and his UFC future posted at the end of the night.
Posted Jun 28 2012
Posted Jun 26 2012
Posted Jun 25 2012