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Tito Speaks on the Future

Ben Zeidler over at MMA Madness has posted an interview with Tito Ortiz in which Tito addresses his future:

Tito Ortiz: Actually, I've seen my fan base increase. They've seen the true colors of Dana and they've seen that I'm not the only one saying something. Many fighters - Randy [Couture], Tim [Sylvia] - are talking about what Dana has been doing. Fans want to support me no matter where I go.

MMA Madness: And on that note, can you tell us what's next for you?

Tito Ortiz: Well, nothing official yet. As soon as this fight is over, I have a 30-day waiting period before I can negotiate.

MMA Madness: Which organizations are you interested in?

Tito Ortiz: Definitely EliteXC. Affliction seems to be building up well. And they just started with DREAM in Japan. Any organization that will respect me and promote me as the champion that I am.

MMA Madness: And of these organizations you're interested in, which have contacted you?

Tito Ortiz: All of them have contacted me, but I can't negotiate yet.

I think a lot of people are expecting Tito to fight and within 24 hours announce that he has signed with EXC, Affliction or DREAM.  In reality he can't even begin negotiations with any non-UFC promotion until 30 days after the fight.  Knowing how difficult Tito can be at the table when it comes to getting a contract he likes I'm going to say it'll be July or August before we know what his next move is.

There really aren't a lot of attractive non-UFC fights at light heavy outside of Frank Shamrock or Cung Le (who would each have to be willing to move up to 205...which may not be doable for Le).  Tito says in the interview that he'd consider bulking up and fighting Fedor or Kimbo also.  I think the smart path would be for him to take a deal with EXC and fight Le or Shamrock on a joint promoted card.  From there if he really wants to bulk up he could take on Strikeforce's heavyweight champion in Alistair Overeem as a "testing the waters" bout...this is also a fairly safe bout as Ortiz would likely be able to get the fight to the ground and pound out a win.  From there you can try to work a possible big money fight with Kimbo.

Fantasy matchmaking on my part to be sure, but it's a path that is doable, profitable and fairly safe route for Tito.

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