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Home MMA UFC Press Conference: Ortiz and Belfort Back in, Still no Fedor
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UFC Press Conference: Ortiz and Belfort Back in, Still no Fedor

tito_ortiz

 The UFC held a press conference Friday afternoon to announce a number of things following the demise of Affliction Entertainment as a promoter. As many speculated, Tito Ortiz will be returning to the UFC after it was confirmed that Ortiz and White had finally ended their long standing feud. Vitor Belfort will also be making a return to the octagon after the cancelation of his bout that was to take place at

Affliction: Trilogy. He’ll take on Rich Franklin at UFC 103 after the organization decided to scrap the Henderson/ Franklin rematch that was previously announced as the main event. And despite agreeing to everything short of a co-promotion with M-1 Global it appears the UFC will be unable to sign Fedor Emelianenko, although the offer is apparently still on the table.

Following a twitter post by Dana White a few weeks ago stating “welcome back Tito,” many figured it was only a matter of time before the popular fighter from California made a return to the UFC. The former light heavyweight champion hasn’t won a fight in nearly three years, but after undergoing back surgery 10 months ago he feels he’ll be able to once again be a factor in the most stacked division in the UFC. It appears he’s targeting his return for November or December, with White suggesting Mark Coleman as a possible opponent.

Vitor Belfort will also be making a UFC comeback after a 4 year absence. Fans voiced their dislike for a Franklin vs. Henderson rematch that was originally scheduled to headline UFC 103, so it’s no surprise the fight has been nixed with Henderson being replaced with Belfort. The fight will take place at 205 lbs, but with Belfort’s last two fights occuring at 185 lbs and a somewhat weak middleweight pool in the UFC, it’s almost certain Belfort will move down to that weight following his match up with Franklin. Henderson meanwhile was said to be next in line for a shot at Anderson Silva’s middleweight title. The fight could happen soon if Silva defeats Forrest Griffin at UFC 101.

Despite stating that he didn’t wish to discuss his negotiations with Fedor Emelianenko and M-1 Global, White went into great detail about everything the UFC tried to do to get the Russian fighter in the UFC. Unfortunately, M-1 branding within the UFC, the ability for Emelianenko to participate in Sambo tournaments when ever he pleased and even the possibility of a share of PPV sales for M-1 Global wasn’t enough to get the deal done. White confirmed it was M-1’s refusal to back down from a co-promoted event that was the deal breaker. The offer is apparently still on the table, but with Strikeforce now in the mix and reportedly open to co-promotion it appears they are the likely destination for Fedor.

White also announced the signings of other former Affliction fighters including Paul Daley, Ben Rothwell, Chase Gormly, Dan Lauzon and Rafaello Oliveira to the UFC, while Javier Vazquez, LC Davis and Mark Hominick have reached agreements with Zuffa’s other promotion, the WEC. The UFC is also apparently in the midst of negotiations with 8 or 9 other fighters. It appears that the White and company have no interest in former UFC heavyweight champs Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski following devastating losses in their last fights.

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