Tito Ortiz Still Playing Hard Ball

Written by Tim Ngo
August 20th, 2008

With the Affliction talk suddenly dying down, other promotions are starting to join the mix as the AFL, EliteXC and even the UFC have had “formal negotiations” with the former light heavyweight champion. Affliction had Ortiz all but signed after SI.com reported that he would make his debut at “Affliction: Day of Reckoning,” but after Ortiz’ no-show to the Affliction press conference, everything has becoome more complicated.

Ortiz knows that he’s still a draw in the MMA world, but is he over-estimating his own worth? According to the Dayton Daily News, an executive from one of the promotions pursuing Ortiz was quoted as saying, “I don’t know if we’re really negotiating, or simply helping Tito stroke his giant ego.”

It’s probably a little of both, but what’s most interesting is that Ortiz is willing to listen to the UFC, and that the UFC is willing to talk with him. Maybe he does have some pull with Lorenzo Fertitta.

The AFL has made some waves recently with the signings of former WWE champion Bobby Lashley and top female fighter Tara LaRosa, but they are still considered a long-shot to land Ortiz.

EliteXC has their own financial issues, so there’s some serious doubt about them actively chasing Ortiz knowing the price tag that he’s demanding.

That leaves Affliction and the UFC. The problem for Affliction is that they would most likely have to pay more than the market value for Ortiz, while the UFC can pay him what they feel is fair. Is a 33 year old fighter who hasn’t won a fight in years worth it? We’ll have to wait and see.

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