by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Despite speculation that surfaced on Monday that former Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Tito Ortiz was going to withdraw from his fight with Lyoto Machida at UFC 84 due to injury, MMAWeekly.com has confirmed with Ortiz that the fight is still happening.
“Not true,” said Ortiz via e-mail about the rumored withdrawal. “The fight is still a go.”
Ortiz’s fight with Machida is the last bout on his current UFC contract. He has stated in multiple interviews that he doesn’t intend on returning to the company after his deal ends.
The public feud between “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” and UFC president Dana White has hit a boiling point of late, but White stated in a previous interview with MMAWeekly.com that the door isn’t closed, at least in his eyes, for bringing back the former light heavyweight champion after this fight is over.
“He said he’ll never come back to the UFC as long as I’m running it,” White stated. But he continued, saying, “I’m not planning on quitting because Tito doesn’t want to fight if I’m here. Even with all the issues I’ve had with that moron, he’s still in the UFC, so we’ll see what happens.”
Ortiz is expected to work alongside his training partners at his facility in Big Bear, Calif. to prepare for the showdown with Machida.
The bout is part of the undercard of UFC 84 in Las Vegas on May 24 featuring a main event lightweight title bout between champion B.J. Penn and former titleholder Sean Sherk.