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(yeah … about that shirt.)

Will it be “third times a charm” for Tito Ortiz regarding signing claims? He first said he was gonna work with Affliction, and then that fell through completely. He then said he was signing with EliteXC, and now that company is in the toilet. Now check out what he’s saying:

In an appearance at last weekend’s Rumble in the Park in Fresno (broadcast today on HDNet’s Inside MMA), Ortiz said, “It’s either going to be with the UFC or it’s going to be with Affliction, but guaranteed, you guys will see me fight — no matter what — by July.”

Ortiz also mentioned that he had back surgery last month, which he deemed successful. He also said it was the same surgery that Nate Quarry had, and Quarry was out of action for 15 months after his back surgery. So Ortiz is very optimistic if he thinks he can guarantee that he’ll return just seven months after the surgery.

He’s also optimistic if he thinks Affliction will still be in the MMA business in July. And he’s optimistic if he thinks UFC will still be willing to do business with him. Bottom line, Ortiz is an optimistic guy.

I gotta agree with Michael David Smith (or as I shall dub him henceforth: Midsy): Tito sure is being positive about his chances. I’ve already given my psychic prediction on Affliction’s fate, and you get the feeling that if Tito isn’t able to sign with competition and cause problems for the UFC, why would they bring him back into the fold?

It’s interesting though that Tito Ortiz hasn’t mentioned Japan as a possibility at all. You’d figure they’d be all over a trash talking mexican with a pinata head.

We’re still working on figuring out how the fuck to get to the XMMA event tonight … it’s up in Laval, far far far away from us and any kind of public transportation. We’re such limp-wristed city slickers that we don’t even know anyone with a car, and to taxi up there would bankrupt Fightlinker faster than leaving $kala in charge. So if you’re in the city and going to the event, get in touch!

If you’re not in the city and are looking for something to do tonight, then I’d recommend tuning into the Calzaghe / Jones Jr fight. Kevin Iole says the odds are 4-1 in favor of Joe Calzaghe, and if you believe him on that (he has a habit of being shaky on numbers but as dumb as he is with MMA, boxing is his bread and butter) then BetUS has an edge on him at -240. Roy Jones Jr is sitting in at +190 which isn’t really anything to write home about.

But one thing I noticed with boxing odds is they sure do get a fuckload more prop options than MMA. You’ve got odds bumps for betting on a stoppage, and then insane odds for picking a round when the stoppage occurs. Not that this is likely … neither fighter has finished a match outside of a judge’s decision in a long time.

And I guess that’s the problem with boxing and tonight’s fight. For sure I expect it to be an exciting bout, but only in the context of boxing. A knockout is possible, but not very likely. Still, there’s a decent chance Roy Jones Jr is gonna come out and pull off an upset, and both fighters are known for exciting performances. Whereas I have largely given up on boxing after trying to get into it a while back, I’ll definitely be checking out this fight. Competitive fights between two exciting top fighters happens way too rarely in boxing to pass up.

(Matthew Polly is a writer and Rhodes Scholar who, for some unknown reason, actually thinks we’re cool. When he isn’t busy running around the world writing his new book, he occasionally writes for us.)

Is there a question you’ve always wanted to ask Fedor, but every time a reporter opens their mouth and asks the Russian dynamo something, it’s always the same old shit?

Well, now you have the chance to ask. Our friend and fellow Jackal Matthew Polly, who continues journey to discover the funny, compelling, and offbeat world of MMA, is headed to Russia for his next adventure. During his time there, he hopes to track down the elusive and enigmatic Fedor Emelianenko, and wants your help.

Fightlinker is offering a contest to see who can come up with the best / funniest question for Matt to ask, and the winner will receive a signed copy of his last book, American Shaolin.

More than that, of course, you can finally rest easy having asked the one fucking question that every gutless uncharismatic reporter has failed to demand an answer to. Will you answer the call?

Go here to submit your questions!

Last night wasn’t last night in Japan, it was today. And today last night was Cage Force’s first female show, Valkyrie. And of course Roxy was fighting at it and of course she won! Unanimous decision, but kinda hard to get much else when the fights are two three minute rounds. Here’s a translated play by play of the fight from GBR:

Round 1: Roxy lands a nice hard punch to the face and follows it up with a clinch as Yonezawa attempts a lunge kick. Roxy pushes her into the side of the cage and unloads with strikes until Yonezawa breaks free. They clinch again and Roxy lands more strikes before taking Yonezawa to the ground. Yonezawa tries to defend the guard pass but Roxy is too good and slips past getting into mount. Yonezawa bridges and reverses but Roxy slips right into a triangle from the bottom as the round ends.

Round 2: Yonezawa comes out with a flying kick but Roxy returns with a righ hook. They wrestle into the side of the cage and Roxy lets go with knees and then trips Yonezawa to the ground, landing in half guard. Roxy goes for an armlock but Yonezawa holds on to survive to the bell.

Congrats Roxy! More info on the fight … pics and (one can dream) videos coming soon!

As usual, you can help support Roxy by buying a Team Modafferi t-shirt from our store. All the money goes to helping her train and get more fights. Her management is currently looking into getting her another match in the United States right now and she needs your help! So buy a shirt. Not only is it awesome, but it helps Roxy in her quest to be the queen at 135 pounds.

You can check out the rest of the results from the Valkyrie event at Japan MMA!

No reaction yet from Matt Hughes himself on the midwestern social faux pas of getting caught holding a white supremacist shirt. But here’s his webmaster with an explanation:

Not a big deal.

This photo was taken on April 5th, 2008, when Matt did an appearance at Dale’s Harley-Davidson, in Mt. Vernon, IL. I run Matt’s website and I was there taking pictures of the event. This photo was from early on in the day and some guy brought the shirt to Matt, asked him to sign it and take a picture with it. Matt was on his way to the autograph table, so he signed it and took the picture on the move and I doubt he even looked at the shirt any longer than it took to find a blank space to sign his name. The only reason I remember it so well was I noticed the “SS” symbol and thought to myself, “Uh-oh, this could be a problem.” It was a busy day, so I never brought it up and it seemed like such a small issue as the months went by.

Again, Matt has absolutely no affiliation with this group, he was just asked by a fan to sign the shirt and take the photo and he did. Matt has no connections whatsoever with white supremacist groups.

I’d like to pipe up and say that for what it’s worth, I don’t think Matt Hughes is part of a white supremacist group either. Not that I have any particular insight on the topic or anything … there’s just been no proof past this shirt to go on, and as far as evidence goes, this only points to the fact that Matt is probably a little too tolerant of intolerance for his own good.

Personally, I love white supremacists. They’re one of the few groups out there that you don’t feel bad for kicking the shit out of. But I’m not gonna blame others for not going into sucker punch mode at the first sight of Nazi symbolry. Sure, you’d hope Matt would at least not sign that kinda shit, but I’m pretty sure this episode will be a learning experience for him on the subject. First choke photos and now this. If Hughes doesn’t catch a break sooner rather than later, he’ll be hissing and covering up every time someone points a camera at him.

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