Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was a guest on Sirius’ Fight Network Radio on Monday and confirmed he will face undefeated Lyoto Machida at a UFC event on Saturday, May 24 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout is the last on his current contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. At this time, the UFC and Ortiz have not come to terms on a new contract; this could leave Ortiz as one of the highest profile free agents in a vibrantly blossoming mixed martial arts market.

Ortiz expressed some displeasure in fighting the undefeated Lyoto Machida:

“I was expecting a bigger fight. I think the fans were expecting a bigger fight,” said Ortiz. “I got pressed into it, and all of a sudden, it’s all over the Internet that Tito Ortiz won’t fight Machida. I’m just looking to get my final fight over with the UFC.”

Ortiz also commented on his displeasure with the way he has been treated by the UFC:

“They said I wasn’t worth the money,” said Ortiz. “I was worth no more than what I’m getting paid now, and I’m not a commodity to them anymore. I’m not as viable to them anymore. That was a sign of disrespect.”

“With Dana in charge, I don’t think that fight will ever happen for me,” said Ortiz. “Dana has bad blood for me and nothing but bad blood. They’re going to try and ruin me.”

“UFC is caring so much about the brand itself,” said Ortiz. “They could care less about the fighters. Fighters are a dime a dozen. They’ll keep coming. Dana is really out for himself and the company. He doesn’t give a s—t about the fighters.”

Ortiz has every right to be dissatisfied with the UFC’s lack of desire to resign him. Ortiz has been a headliner in 17 of his 20 UFC appearances and his rematch with Chuck Liddell, which took place at UFC 66 in December 2006, remains the largest UFC pay-per-view to date, which saw a reported 1,000,050 buys. The event also holds the North American record for paid attendance with 12,191 fans dishing out $5,397,300 of their hard earned cash.

With the M-1 global and EliteXC working to promote their brands of mixed martial arts to the public, Ortiz should come across little trouble finding a new home.
M-1 Global is the current home of former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and EliteXC scooped up Nick Diaz when his UFC contract was up. These organizations need more high profile names to be considered legitimate contenders with the UFC. Tito Ortiz is the perfect name to bolster any roster of light heavyweights.
"INSIDE THE OCTOGON" posted by Larry Vollmer
UFC 81 is scheduled to take place on February 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The rumored fight card is as follows:

Main Card Bouts (subject to change):
-Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia (For the interim heavyweight title )
-Nathan Marquardt vs. Jeremy Horn
-Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir
-Alan Belcher vs. Ricardo Almeida

Preliminary Bouts (subject to change):
-Tyson Griffin vs. Gleison Tibau
-Terry Martin vs. Marvin Eastman
-Keita Nakamura vs. Rob Emerson
-David Heath vs. Tomasz Drwal
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