Photo courtesy of TitoOrtiz.com.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was featured as a panelist on last night’s edition of Inside MMA on HDNet and discussed his current state as a free agent in the world of mixed martial arts following the conclusion of his contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship earlier this month.
Despite his ongoing feud with UFC President Dana White, Ortiz admits that he is actually still negotiating with his long-time home, although a clause in his contract may be giving the UFC more room to talk to him than he would like.
Even after all of the drama, Ortiz says that there is still a small chance he may end up signing with the UFC after all.
“EliteXC - possibility, Affliction - possibility, the UFC - a small chance of that happening,” Ortiz said when asked about where he might end up. “You know I’m taking this stuff with Dana White and shoving it aside and moving on with my life. I’m going to wash my hands [of it] and make sure that my future is going to be very, very, very… great.”
Ortiz, who has always been well-known for his conditioning going into fights, believes that the success of a fighter like Randy Couture at such a late age suggests that he too may be able to fight far beyond originally imagined.
“This is the first time that I’ve been a free agent in 11 years so I have the opportunity to get the best fights in my career still ahead of me,” Ortiz said. “I’m only 33 years old and Randy Couture started his career at 33 so the sky is the limit for me. I’m still training as hard as I possibly can and I’m looking to take part in some pretty powerful fights.”
Premature reports that had Ortiz finalizing a deal with Affliction weeks ago quoted the California native as saying that he would be interested in taking a role within the promotion he signs with itself besides just fighting. While some organizations would likely be against such an agreement, Ortiz remains adamant that he would like to secure a solid future for himself and his family (Ortiz’s girlfriend Jenna Jameson is pregnant) with his next deal.
“I have to make the right business decision for my future. I’ve been doing this for about 11 years now and I have 5-6 years left to compete. I want to make sure that [I’m going to sign with] a company that is going to back me, support me, and use me because I’ve gone this far [in the sport].”
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