Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz has gone on the record once again to claim that his current status as a free agent is about to change.
According to a blog entry by Michael David Smith of AOL’s FanHouse, Ortiz indicated during a recent television interview with Rumble in the Park in Frenso that he’s on the verge of finalizing a contract with a major national promotion.
“It’s either going to be with the UFC or it’s going to be with Affliction, but guaranteed, you guys will see me fight — no matter what — by July,” Smith quotes Ortiz as saying.
Despite Ortiz making the proclamation himself, it’s unclear just how credible his statement is. In early-September, Ortiz claimed he was on the verge of signing a record-breaking contract with Affliction. Despite reports that an announcement was forthcoming, an agreement was never finalized.
Soon after talks with Affliction broke off, Ortiz was then involved in deep negotiations that nearly landed him with the Los Angeles-based Elite Xtreme Combat. During weigh-ins for the promotion’s Oct. 4 “Heat” event, Ortiz informed several members of the media that he was close to finalizing an agreement with the promotion.
At the time, sources revealed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Ortiz had met several times with high-level CBS executives in Sunrise, Florida the week leading up to network’s telecast of the Oct. 4 event from the Bank Atlantic Center. The sources indicated that CBS execs came away very impressed with Ortiz and that a deal was “all but signed.”
CBS apparently felt comfortable enough in their talks with Ortiz to not only put him on camera during the Saturday Night Fights telecast but to also grant him backstage access. However, a deal was never consummated and all talks likely broke off after EliteXC announced massive layoffs to its staff and signaled its intent to suspend operations two weeks ago.
Ortiz also revealed during the interview that he recently underwent successful surgery on his back and made the claim that the procedure he underwent was similar to one that current UFC middleweight Nate Quarry underwent. While Ortiz is claiming he will resume fighting no later than July, Quarry’s surgery sidelined him for 15 months.