(“Yaaaaaaaay!” Photo courtesy of MMA Mania.)
According to SI.com, Tito Ortiz signed a deal with Affliction yesterday that will make him the highest paid fighter in MMA history, and will compete at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” card (October 11th, Las Vegas); his opponent is expected to be Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Though he wouldn’t drop specific numbers, Ortiz told SI’s Arash Markazi:
“I guarantee you that my contract will be like no other…It will be a ground-breaking record contract for sure, without a doubt. There’s so much money to be made right now in mixed martial arts and it’s all about the fighters trying to make that money. It’s going to be a long-term deal where I put my heart and soul into the company and help build them…They’re going to bring me on, not just as a fighter but also doing some of the back work also…
I’m going to a company that’s going to take care of me, a company that’s going to respect me, a company that’s going to put me in the forefront and make me the ambassador that I’ve always been.”
Regarding Affliction’s drawing power with him on board, Ortiz was optimistic — perhaps insanely so:
“I know they want to make some money and I know they got over 100,000 pay-per-view buys on their first show and with me it’s guaranteed to be over 500,000 pay-per-view buys just by the number of fans that are going to follow me no matter where I go so they’re going to get there money’s worth just in pay-per-view no matter what.”
As we suggested earlier, an Affliction card headlined by Tito would strongly outperform an Affliction card headlined by Fedor, but without the dependable draw of the UFC brand, the pay-per-view ceiling for “Day of Reckoning” might be closer to 200,000 buys than 500,000. Especially since he’ll be facing the relatively unpopular Renato “Babalu” Sobral, rather than his old rivals like Ken Shamrock or Chuck Liddell. Donald Trump and Tom Atencio may be overestimating Ortiz’s worth just a bit, especially if they really have promised him an obscene amount of money. But bigger matchups for the HBBB are likely for the future. Said Tito:
“I know Frank Shamrock is another person who’s been opening up his mouth. He beat me the last time we fought and I think that would be a great revenge fight where I kick his ass and finally shut him up. As time goes we’ll see who Affliction signs besides me. I don’t know. I might even go up to heavyweight if the bigger pay days are there.”
Affliction is expected to hold a press conference today to announce their signing of Ortiz. If any more juicy details are released, we’ll let you know.
Related: Jenna Jameson might be pregnant.
(Props: MMA Payout)