After weeks of speculation surrounding Tito Ortiz’s sudden exit from this season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” fans finally got to see exactly what transpired during Wednesday night’s show.
Immediately after watching who he felt was the odds-on favorite to win the middleweight tournament not answer the 3rdRound bell, Ortiz was hit with another mind-blower.
UFC president Dana White pulled the former light heavyweight champion into his office where he was told that he would be relieved of his coaching duties and sent on a flight back to see a neck specialist in California – effective immediately.
A dumbfounded Ortiz thanked White and the UFC for looking out for his health, then paused for a second before asking White why he would be forced to relinquish his coaching duties on the show.
“For the first time in his life,” Ortiz had been fired from a job. It was also the only time that a coach had pulled out of the fight that was scheduled to take place at the culmination of the season.
As anticipated, Rich Franklin stepped up to replace Ortiz with only six days remaining in the season. White admitted that he was forced to “call in a favor” and the former UFC middleweight champ gladly accepted.