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Sunday, June 28, 2009
Ortiz "close" to Strikeforce commitment

By Jake Rossen

Tito OrtizAP Photo/Jane KalinowskyTito Ortiz has never seen a microphone he doesn't want to talk into.

Speaking is not Tito Ortiz's great gift in life, but he insists on doing a lot of it. Since losing a decision to Lyoto Machida in May of 2008, the 34-year-old has made recurring appearances in the media in which he hinted he was "close" to deals with Affliction, Strikeforce and ProElite. But to date, the only deal he's signed is with PETA.

Playing promotions against each other in media is smart business, but it does grow tiresome. Now comes word Ortiz is -- wouldn't you guess -- "close" to aligning with Strikeforce for a four-fight deal that would begin in October. Ortiz allegedly told a gathered crowd in Pittsburgh that he would welcome a bout with manufactured nemesis Renato Sobral first and then work his way into a catch fight with Fedor Emelianenko because, after all, the semi-retired light heavyweight has certainly earned a shot at the consensus No. 1 heavyweight.

While this hyperbole smacks of news in the vain of The Onion -- quickly becoming a pandemic in the industry -- I don't have much trouble believing Ortiz's public trumpeting. He's angling for the best deal possible, and that involves grabbing every microphone he can.