Dave Meltzer from Yahoo!Sports.com breaks it down as Tito Ortiz possibly heads into his last fight inside the Octagon against Lyoto Machida at UFC 84: "Ill Will" at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 24:
"Ortiz has had more fights (21) in the Octagon than any man in history. He was the longest-reigning champion in company history, a three-and-a-half year run as light heavyweight champion from 2000-03. And the Huntington Beach, Calif., native headlined the company’s two most successful pay-per-view events in matches with Ken Shamrock (770,000 buys) and Chuck Liddell (1.05 million), and the company’s highest rated television special (3.1), in a third match with Shamrock."
He's doing something right, whether or not you think he's overrated, all talk or just in it now for the celebrity. Put simply, Tito draws ... look no further than next weekend -- the show has been sold out for weeks.
And he is more than likely a primary reason for the high interest in tickets.
Ortiz is in the last fight of his contract, which is clearly not going unnoticed by other promotions out there that are eager to cash-in on his star power.
Elite XC, and its Live Events President Gary Shaw, are among them.
Here's a snip:
"Of all my years in the fight game, I know one thing that I could see, touch, smell and feel, and that is a star and a superstar. Every time I see Tito Ortiz, he reeks of stardom. I think I can even better his days in the UFC. I think I can reincarnate Ortiz. He is a talented fighter and has all the mechanisms that you need to make someone a superstar. Can you imagine Tito Ortiz and Kimbo (Slice) in the cage together one day? My door is open. I hope that he's able to negotiate one day because I would never interfere with a contract. I hope he's sitting right next to me, not across from my desk, but right with me."
Sounds like the perfect match.