...big bucks. Steve Sievert makes the case:
The two fights with Shamrock were the gateway for Ortiz to earn a second go-round with Chuck Liddell. The UFC parlayed the matchup into what was at the time, the biggest fight in MMA history. Liddell-Ortiz 2 at UFC 66 in December 2006 produced the top MMA gate ever in Las Vegas ($5.4 million) but the real take came in a record of more than $40 million in pay-per-view buys.
And while Ortiz , who intends to fight another three years, is no longer a top-flight contender at 205 pounds or the drawing card he once was, he's still one of the top five "name fighters" in the sport today. He's a polarizing figure capable of stirring the pot, selling a fight and generating ticket sales.
There's no doubt in my mind a fight with Machida does three things for Dana White's aims: it undercuts the name value of Ortiz since Machida isn't much of a draw, it creates the serious potential for an Ortiz loss given Machida's talent, and in the event of a win, does little for Ortiz since Machida is, well, not much of a known quantity to fans. White couldn't have created a better sabotaging agent in the laboratory with Dr. Frankenstein.