Article by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The drama surrounding the next home for embattled light heavyweight superstar Tito Ortiz continues to unfold as Affliction has still not signed the fighter, according to company COO Michael Cohen, who spoke to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
While reports have varied, Ortiz was under a “no compete” clause from his last contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. According to Affliction vice president Tom Atencio, that lockout ended this week, but Cohen is still unsure if Ortiz is even free to negotiate at this point.
“Donald Trump, myself and Tito engaged in a conversation,” said Cohen about the potential deal with Ortiz. “There was nothing substantive that was discussed other than that we are interested in sitting down with him, which we are planning on doing in the very near future, to discuss with him the opportunity to join the family of Affliction fighters.”
On Tuesday in an interview with SportsIllustrated.com, Ortiz was quoted as saying that his next deal would be “ground breaking,” but no specific organization has yet to sign this proposed deal.
The rumor mill has been circling since Ortiz’s last fight in the UFC, a loss to Lyoto Machida, as to where the former champion would end up next.
Companies from Affliction to EliteXC to the American Fight League have all expressed interest in signing Ortiz, but as of Wednesday he is still a free agent.
Calls to Ortiz for comment were not immediately returned.