The rumor mill has been swirling for quite some time and a resolution was supposed to come today at Affliction’s press conference regarding the future of former UFC light heavyweight champion, and one of the most recognizable names in all of MMA, Tito Ortiz. Earlier today, SI.com reported that it was a done deal, however, Ortiz was a no-show at the press conference, and he remains a free agent.
Ortiz fought his last bout in May for the UFC, the only MMA organization that he has ever known. After a bitter divorce from the largest MMA organization in the world, Ortiz instantly became one of the biggest free agents available. Due to a non-compete clause on his old UFC contract, he was not allowed to officially sign with any other promotion for 60 days.
That window expired last week, and many felt all along that Affliction would be the perfect fit for the former champion. Not only will Affliction allow him to compete in other MMA organizations, but Ortiz also has a great relationship with Affliction Executive Vice President, Donald Trump, which stemmed from his appearance on Trump’s hit reality show, “The Apprentice,” this past season.
In addition to that, Ortiz was also sitting from and center with Trump at Affliction: Banned just last month. That was Affliction’s first promotion, and it happened to be held in Ortiz’ hometown of Orange County, California.
Dispite all of that, Ortiz remains unsigned.
Affliction COO, Michael Cohen told MMAWeekly.com that they have had extensive discussions with Ortiz, however nothing substantial has come of it.
“Donald Trump, myself and Tito engaged in a conversation,” said Cohen. “There was nothing substantive that was discussed other than that we are interested in sitting down with him, which we are planning on doing in the very near future, to discuss with him the opportunity to join the family of Affliction fighters.”