The world of mixed martial arts is no stranger to controversy and heated rivalries, and one such feud has emerged between former UFC champion Tito Ortiz and UFC president Dana White. Ortiz, who had a successful MMA career and later ventured into politics, made a surprising claim that he was the mastermind behind the design of the UFC’s MMA gloves, alleging that Dana White stole the credit for it.
Dana White’s journey in the world of combat sports has been a remarkable one. Starting as a cardio kickboxing coach, he later became a manager and eventually became an iconic promoter as the president of the UFC. Along the way, White encountered numerous conflicts of interest during his early years as UFC president, which made him a polarizing figure in the MMA community.
However, Ortiz’s claim that he designed the UFC glove comes as a surprise to many. While the evolution of MMA gloves has a complex history, it’s important to note that Ortiz was not the first fighter to wear MMA-style gloves in the octagon.
The real pioneer of these gloves was Melton Bowen, who debuted them at UFC 4. Unfortunately, Bowen’s use of the gloves is often overlooked because he lost his first MMA fight and never competed again.
Ortiz made his mixed martial arts debut at UFC 13 in 1997 while still in college, competing as an amateur with no prize money or contracts involved. He won his debut bout against Wes Albritton by referee stoppage in just 31 seconds of the first round.
During a podcast appearance on the Jaxxon podcast, Ortiz claimed that he played a pivotal role in designing the UFC gloves, stating, “I made those motherf**kers. I gave Dana a prototype. And he said he’s going to make it through Juana gloves and gloves and gloves and then all of a sudden, I got cut out of a deal.”
Ortiz further explained, “So what I did was I cut the thumb out. I cut the knuckle parts arm because they had the knuckles padded. I cut. So it’s just. Just the top. And I go, This is how you should make the next gloves. He goes, You sure? I got to. They were awesome. They got the wrap, the record tight. I cut of that deal, and they made their own s**t, man, instead of padding that motherf*ing gear.”
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.