Yesterday Tito Ortiz's contract with the UFC officially expired. He is now a free agent and can sign with any MMA organization he pleases. The front runner in the Ortiz Sweepstakes is Affliction and they just so happen to have a press conference scheduled for tomorrow to offically launch their "Day of Reckoning" event. Rear Naked News contacted Affliction earlier today and they would not confirm or deny that Ortiz would be in attendance.
As of right now, the fight card for Affliction's second pay-per-view is solid, but not as groundbreaking as the first by any measure. Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett are popular fighters within the diehard MMA fan universe. Mention their names to an average sports fan and you'll get blank stares. Vitor Belfort vs Matt Lindland? There are probably quite a few younger MMA fans who have no idea why they should care about either of those fighters. What I'm getting at here is this event needs a draw. The first Affliction pay-per-view had Fedor's entrance into the American consciousness. He was the reason people shelled out $40. It had little to do with Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, or any other name on that card.
Sequels are difficult to produce, as EliteXC found out the hard way. You cannot expect people to tune in just because they watched the first time. A successful sequel gives the viewer some thing extra they did not see the first time. Godfather II gave us a peek into the life of a young Vito Corleone. Empire Strikes Back revealed Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father. What will Affliction "Day of Reckoning" have to offer?
If Tom Atencio is as smart as he seems, it will be the reemergence of exiled UFC superstar Tito Ortiz. We will all be watching tomorrow to find out.