During a Thursday conference call to promote the debut of CBS’ “Saturday Night Fights” on May 31, EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw did not shy away from any questions regarding former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz.
Ortiz will become a restricted free agent following his May 24 bout at UFC 84 against undefeated Brazilian fighter Lyoto Machida. Due to the animosity that exists between Ortiz and UFC President Dana White, many pundits have speculated that UFC 84 will be Ortiz’s final fight with the UFC and that he will be seeking a new promotion to call home.
Shaw made it clear Thursday that he wouldn’t mind if that home was EliteXC.
“I happen to be a huge fan of his (Ortiz) on a personal level,” Shaw responded when asked about his feelings towards Ortiz.
At another point in the press conference, Shaw expounded further on his desire to work with Ortiz in the future.
“Of all my years in the fight game, I know one thing that I could see, touch, smell and feel, and that is a star and a superstar,” he said. “Every time I see Tito Ortiz, he reeks of stardom. I think I can even better his days in the UFC. I think I can reincarnate Ortiz. He is a talented fighter and has all the mechanisms that you need to make someone a superstar.”
The former boxing regulator-turned-promoter already has one matchup in mind for the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy.”
“Can you imagine Tito Ortiz and Kimbo (Slice) in the cage together one day?,” Shaw asked. “My door is open. I hope that he’s able to negotiate one day because I would never interfere with a contract. I hope he’s sitting right next to me, not across from my desk, but right with me.”