- IS TITO BACK IN THE GAME?

October 28, 2005
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by Jeff Cain
There have been two rumors that have surfaced the past month about the Huntington Beach Bad Boy. Could Tito Ortiz be close to signing a deal with the UFC? Is he about to start his own promotion?

‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ has said in many recent interviews that he planned on starting his own organization. In August, in an interview with MMAWeekly, Ortiz talked about starting his own promotion. He said, “It’s going to be a big one. It’s going to be here in States, and Las Vegas is the first place we’re looking to make it happen.”

Over the last several months Tito has been working to make it a reality. He hinted about the news on the Underground Forum Friday by starting a thread titled, “This is big!” It simply read, “The W.F.A. Stay Tuned!” Some fighters have told MMAWeekly that he is reportedly finalizing the acquisition of the World Fighting Alliance (WFA), John Lewis’ former Las Vegas based fight promotion. The details of the transfer of ownership are still unknown, but it appears that John Lewis is willing to part with his portion of the company.

The WFA is a sanctioned event in the state of Nevada. It’s a reputable promotion who’ve always put on good shows and treated the fighters well. MMAWeekly’s own Frank Trigg is a former WFA welterweight champion. They’ve had numerous top fighters compete in their organization. Just to name a few: Rich Franklin, Josh Thomson, Dennis Hallman, Mike Van Arsdale, Kimo Leopoldo, Alex Stiebling, Vitor Ribeiro, ‘Tiki’ Ghosen, Ronald Jhun, and Marvin Eastman. If and when the deal is finalized there would be nothing in the way of the WFA holding events as soon as they can put the cards together and secure a venue.

Tito Ortiz could soon be a promoter, but what about Tito Ortiz the fighter? ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ was on Live Audio Wrestling last week where Ortiz revealed that he and UFC match maker Joe Silva are in negotiations for his return to the octagon. Sources have told MMAWeekly that part of the deal Tito was offered was a fight with ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season one light heavyweight winner Forrest Griffin for early next year, possibly April.

Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin have a bit of history that began when Dana White said on MMAWeekly SoundOff Radio, “I can tell you right now that Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin…..more people know who they are right now than know who Tito Ortiz is. They were a part of a show that ten million people were watching at one point.” Ortiz responded by commenting online that his “nuts” were more popular than Forrest Griffin.

Ortiz would later say about ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ participants, “I don’t see them as really that good of fighters to me.” He even went so far as to refer to them as “cronies.” There’s definitely a storyline for that fight to be built around, but will Ortiz actually be back in the UFC?

Ortiz recently turned down a six fight deal with Pride that was rumored to be for $125,000 to show and another $125,000 winning bonus. He told Live Audio Wrestling his reasons for declining the offer was, “It just didn’t interest me that much. Six fights with them seemed like too long of a time for me. This sport is growing so quick that you just never know what the next step is going to be. I will fight in the States though man.”

Tito’s always maintained that he’ll fight again, and he made it clear that he wants to fight in the United States. The question now is, will it be in the UFC or the WFA?

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