It has been assumed that light heavyweight fighter and former UFC champ Tito Ortiz would sign a contract with Affliction. The assumption now seems to be a reality and will be formally announced at a Affliction press conference Wednesday. Sports Illustrated and many other venues are reporting this news recently. Tito Ortiz said that not only was he signed to a contract, but that it was record breaking and the largest contract ever fore a MMA fighter, here are Ortiz’s comments…
I guarantee you that my contract will be like no other. It will be a ground-breaking record contract for sure, without a doubt. There’s so much money to be made right now in mixed martial arts and it’s all about the fighters trying to make that money. It’s going to be a long-term deal where I put my heart and soul into the company and help build them. That’s something I’m interested in doing. They’re going to bring me on, not just as a fighter but also doing some of the back work also.
Okay, so Tito gets a record breaking contract. Here is my problem with that. He gets a record breaking contract, which should be worth millions, but he is nowhere near the best fighter in MMA, Affliction, or even Affliction’s light heavyweight divison. I can’t blame Tito for this contract. The man is a savvy business man that is buddy buddy with the deep pocked Donald Trump who is a part of Affliction. Blaming Tito for the contract is like blaming a NFL player for getting the highly overpain contract. I don’t think Tito is worth the largest contract, but that is Affliction’s problem. If Tim Sylvia landed $800,000 for one fight which he lost, imagine what Tito will be making with Affliction. Despite the fact that I think Ortiz is cocky and overrated as a fighter he is a crowd favorite and should draw in fans. Here is what Tito said about his drawing power…
Mr. Trump works fast and gets busy in a lot of the things he does and he’s going to give me the best deal possible. I know they want to make some money and I know they got over 100,000 pay-per-view buys on their first show and with me it’s guaranteed to be over 500,000 pay-per-view buys just by the number of fans that are going to follow me no matter where I go so they’re going to get there money’s worth just in pay-per-view no matter what
I doubt Tito can boost pay per view sales to 500,000. An Affliction card headlines by Arlovski vs. Barnett and a co-main event of Ortiz vs. Sobral is not going to get 500,000 buys. Sorry Tito. I believe that Affliction is gaining credibility. They are showing they will pay their fighters. This willbe drawing power for other fighters. I have to believe that peple are going to want to sign with Affliction. This is evident from Affliction not the UFC signing most of the IFL fighters that were any good (i.e. Nelson and Matyushenko). The problem will be the finances of Affliction. Can they keep paying the way they are and make a profit? Time will tell. If they stay afloat for more than 3 cards they can seriously compete with the UFC. It seems that Ortiz will debut on Affliction’s second card on October 11, names “Day of Reckoning”. It appears that the rumors are true that he will face Renato “Babalu” Sobral at the event.
Babalu has been in my crosshairs. He’s already been talking smack, saying if he sees me he’s going to kick my a**, but right on if he keeps thinking that. He’ll get his face caved in sooner or later. I know Frank Shamrock is another person who’s been opening up his mouth. He beat me the last time we fought and I think that would be a great revenge fight where I kick his ass and finally shut him up. As time goes we’ll see who Affliction signs besides me. I don’t know. I might even go up to heavyweight if the bigger pay days are there.”
Tito is a solid addition to the light heavyweight divison, but he is 2nd or 3rd in ranking in my opinion, behind Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and maybe Vladimir Matyushenko. Ortiz mentioend a possible move up to heavyweight. Ortiz wants the money. He is past his prime and he just made a killing from Affliction. I hope it pays off for them. He will have a tough fight against Babalu in October.