Here’s what you know going into contract negotiations with Tito Ortiz: he is going to insist that you pay him waaaay more than he’s actually worth, and he will genuinely believe that it’s justified. That’s what Affliction is finding out. After claiming he had a “ground-breaking record” contract in the works only to have his statement directly contradicted by Affliction COO Michael Cohen, Ortiz is now actually said to be in negotiations with Affliction, though it isn’t going well.
Affliction VP Tom Atencio told MMA Weekly, “We’ve got a contract, and it’s just not feasible.”
I think we can untangle that odd syntax enough to infer that what he means is Ortiz has told them how much money he wants and it’s absolutely ridiculous. Color me surprised. The problem is that Ortiz has an inflated sense of what he can bring to an MMA organization at this point. For example, he claims that he’ll do a guaranteed 500,000 pay-per-view buys for Affliction. This is what’s known as “crazy talk.”
Ortiz isn’t that big a star anymore. He only thinks he is. MMA fans have seen him limp along the last few years with victories over an over-the-hill Ken Shamrock and his more recent loss to Lyoto Machida, so it isn’t likely that too many of the hardcore faithful are dying to see “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” back in action.
If his reasoning is that fans of “The Apprentice” are going to plop down forty bucks to see him fight “Babalu” Sobral (who most of them have probably never heard of) in Affliction (an organization they may or may not be aware of), then he’s overestimating the reality TV crowd’s attention span. They’ve forgotten him in favor of Brooke Hogan and Mr. Boston by now.