by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Speculation has been running rampant for months now about the future of former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and whether or not he would consider re-signing with the organization following the last fight on his contract against Lyoto Machida at UFC 84.
During an appearance on MMAWeekly Radio Wednesday night, Ortiz says he is “100%” that he will not return to the UFC.
“Me going to somewhere else is 100% happening,” said Ortiz.
Ortiz alluded to his frustration with the president of the UFC, Dana White, as the major factor in the decision, but he admitted he left with a heavy heart when saying goodbye to the fans after his fight last Saturday night.
“Later on after the fight was over, I was sitting down going over the loss, I think that’s when it really touched me that that’s going to be my last time walking out for the UFC,” Ortiz stated. “It’s really hard to say, but the president, the way he treats me, I can’t continue on with them. He’s a monster and I’m going to go elsewhere where they respect me.”
“I’m very thankful for the fans, every one of the fans, I even talked to after and so forth, we’re like ‘we’re going to follow you no matter what Tito, no matter where you go. We’re going to follow you.’ It’s just the fact of getting the greatest fights ahead of me from this point on and continue my career, turn the next chapter in my life.”
It seemed for a moment following the fight between Ortiz and Machida that possibly fences could be mended between the fighter and the promotion, but the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” says his mind is made up.
“No, I’m not going back to the UFC, I don’t want to,” commented the former champion. “I can sleep now and not worry about what’s going to be said about me. I don’t have to worry about what I have to say to make sure I say the right thing. I’m sick of kissing ass and I’m not doing it anymore.”
Following the fight, Ortiz will embark on a three week tour of the country in support of his recently released autobiography, “This is Gonna Hurt.” He will also weigh his options of signing on with an existing promotion or possibly starting his own organization.
While the California native will be unable to attend the upcoming Elite XC show in New Jersey due to family obligations, Ortiz said that he and girlfriend Jenna Jameson will definitely be attending the debut Affliction produced card.
Ortiz stated that he would like to have another fight set up by “September or October” and he’ll be judging promotions on many things including marketing, promotion and various other factors.
“Then it’s time to start plugging away and see what show fits perfect for me,” said Ortiz.