Didn't think we'd see this one coming ... but Tito Ortiz just fired off some COMPLIMENTS about his bitter rival Dana White -- praising the UFC boss for signing CM Punk.
For the record, Ortiz and White have been feuding for YEARS -- and the two got thiiis close to fighting it out in the ring back in 2007.
But despite the feud, Tito knows a good business decision when he sees it ... and told TMZ Sports that signing former WWE champ CM Punk is a solid move for the UFC.
"They're making money," Ortiz said ... "It's great for them."
The 39-year-old fighter also updated us on his own career -- saying he's finally calling it quits next year ... but there's one thing he wants to accomplish before he retires.
Check out the clip ...
Waiting for your permission to load the comments.