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The logic behind Ortiz-Machida

Just last week I was wondering what the fuck was up with Tito Ortiz and the UFC matching him up against Lyoto Machida. Well, it looks like an answer is becoming apparent: Tito still hasn’t signed a new contract with the UFC, so of course the UFC has basically benched him till his terms expire and is now sticking him up against someone who’s likely to make him look look like shit.

This isn’t new territory for the UFC … back when Brandon Vera (or his manager as the official story goes) was being a punk about re-signing with the UFC, they benched him and word was they were going to make his last fight against a human blanket like Carmello Marrero or Jake O’Brien. Oh, and of course this is still ongoing with Andrei Arlovski.

So now the UFC gets to basically stick it to Tito, while at the same time saying “You want to be paid like the best? Prove that you’ve still got it.” As Dave Meltzer says, it actually works both ways for the UFC:

Clearly, a fight with Machida is designed as a big name opponent to stamp Machida as a star to the American public. But it’s the classic win/win for the promotion, because a strong Ortiz, like him or not, can headline against any fighter on this list and through the rub, make them a bigger star to the buying public. And if he can put together a winning streak, he would once again draw huge numbers for a title match.

And here I was thinking they were being dumb, when they’re just being their usual cunning selves. I’d say it was a smart move if it wasn’t for the fact that their machinations are resulting in worse fights for the fans and might drive Tito into the arms of another promotion. I’m not the biggest Tito fan in the world myself but ya gotta recognize he’s got a lot of value and would be the world’s biggest pimp feather in the cap of a rival company.

  • Márcio

    Tito wasn’t able to beat rashad evans!!!! As big as he is when it comes to selling the shows I do believe this is a sport and not the fucking wwe. So if he wants the big bucks he should kick Machida’s ass. If he can’t beat the top guys he shouldn’t be payed as one.

  • fightlinker

    I just wish they could have him against Shogun or Wand as the ‘test’ … same result, more entertaining, plus a bigger profile fight which we desperately fucking need.

  • Márcio

    Yes… but than they would have to put Liddell vs. Machida, and I don think they wanted to risk another Liddell loss so soon.
    This way they gain leverage in the negotiations with Tito (if he loses) and if he wins he’ll be back in title contention and than he’ll be worth the money is presently demanding.
    I don’t like Dana, but he’s a smart man. As for the fans, I think you know what Dana would say about that.

  • Ryder

    Everyone is counting Tito out in this fight, but he’s been around a long time and i think he’s got enough pride to realize what Dana is doing here. I expect an impressive performance from him in this fight. love him or hate him………I’d hate to see him leave for another promotion, he’s just too interesting.

  • Michaelthebox

    I got five bucks says O’Brien gets put against Arlovski for Arlovski’s going-away fight.

    Bets off if Arlovski signs a new deal.

  • mmaninja

    Everyone’s counting Cheato Ortiz out cause he is a one trick pony with some decent takedowns and elbows, but the fact remains that after all the many years he’s been around his standup is still shitty.

    Plus, he is the MOST Awkward fighter ever, when is in even little bit of trouble. Just watch his diving to the floor and covering like some kid in school getting beat on by a bully in his last fight with Chuck Liddell. I mean Bo Cantrell looked manlier in his fight against Kimobo, than Cheato Ortiz did during his big profile fight with Chuck.

    I only expect more of the same awkwardness from him when Machida takes him out in a decision.