“I’m very thankful for Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta from the UFC and I’m glad that me and Dana (White) kind of got to brush each other off. We may not still like each other or whatever but we came to amends – which is awesome'” said Ortiz. “I gotta thank Strikeforce for giving me an opportunity and I want to thank Affliction for giving me an opportunity.”
Despite being “close” to contracts with Strikeforce, Affliction, and the now-defunct EliteXC, a return to the UFC was always considered a possibility, with some considering it the most likely option for the veteran 205-pounder. Ortiz last fought in May 2008, suffering a unanimous decision loss to Lyoto Machida to fulfil his existing contract with the UFC. He then underwent surgery last October on his back and has been sidelined since to recover and negoitate his next fight.
If Ortiz is indeed returning to the UFC, the obvious questions that need answered are when will he return to the Octagon and who will he fight. With Ortiz’s possible re-signing not yet official, neither is his return fight, but MMA Mania’s Jesse Holland speculates that Ortiz could headline UFC 103 on September 19 in Dallas against Rich Franklin.
Ortiz (15-6-1) was not won in three-straight fights, suffering losses to Chuck Liddell and Machida while earning a draw against Rashad Evans.
Franklin (25-4), who has won 3 of his last 4 fights including a recent victory over Wanderlei Silva, is reportedly in Las Vegas meeting one-on-one with UFC President Dana White to negotiate a new contract. “Ace” has one fight remaining on his current UFC deal, but has stated in recent weeks that he’d likely sign a new contract before his next fight, which had been rumored to be the UFC 103 main event.
[HT: MMA Mania]