Photo courtesy of TitoOrtiz.com.
One week after former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz prematurely told the media that he had signed with Affliction Entertainment, organizational heads Tom Atencio and Michael Cohen have both confirmed that they are actively in negotiations with the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy”.
Ortiz told Sports Illustrated last week that he was set to sign a “ground-breaking” contract with the popular California clothing company turned MMA promotion and that the deal would have him become part of the company’s management team. However at a press conference announcing their October 11th “Day of Reckoning” event the next day, Atencio stated that he and his team had not even been in contact with Ortiz.
Even though the two sides are now officially talking, the chances of Ortiz competing at the show in Las Vegas this fall remain slim.
“We’ve got a contract, and it’s just not feasible,” Atencio told MMA Weekly. “It gets back to whatever I do in business, it’s always about dollars and sense. With some fighters it’s not, with some fighters it is. There’s just so many variables. I think that if you go into an organization, whether it’s fighting or promotion, if you feel you’re worth something, and you don’t go after it, you’re never going to know what you’re worth. I go through 90 percent of my contracts with fighters. Everybody’s different.”
As a proven pay-per-view draw, Ortiz obviously knows that he is one of those fighters that are expected to demand top dollars.
The UFC claims that they want nothing to do with Ortiz any longer. EliteXC and Strikeforce have showed interest but nothing of note has come from them lately in regards to Ortiz, whose relationship with real estate mogul and Affliction stock holder Donald Trump may force Affliction’s hand to act faster even though other organizations are staying away.
Still, both Atencio and Cohen have stated that they don’t expect a deal to be struck in time for the October 11th show.
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