EliteXC matchmaker Jeremy Lappen addressed EliteXC’s interest in former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz during a media conference call for Saturday’s EliteXC “Return of the King” event earlier this week.
Here’s a quote from Lappen:
“We’re interested. We’d love to have Tito Ortiz as part of our organization. Any organization out there would love to have Tito. Yeah, we’re talking. We’ll see what happens. The deal has to be good for both sides. He’d be a great addition to our organization. But there are a lot of people actively pursuing him.”
Ortiz (15-6-1) fulfilled his contract with the UFC in a unanimous decision loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 84 in May. He has not won a bout since defeating Ken Shamrock in late-2006, losing to Chuck Liddell in December 2006 at UFC 66 and fighting to a draw against Rashad Evans at UFC 73 last July. Despite the lack of recent victories, Ortiz possesses a strong fanbase and main stream popularity that make him a strong draw.
Affliction, which will stage its first event on July 19th in Anaheim, California, is also perusing Ortiz. Ortiz recently starred in a celebrity edition of â€œThe Apprenticeâ€ reality show, which was hosted by recently-announced Affliction partner Donald Trump.
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