The negotiations between Affliction and Tito Ortiz have started. Tom Atencio confirmed the news today. Ortiz has been outspoken about his high contract demands and Affliction has not given in yet. The big question is whether you pay a fighter for their skills or their drawing power. Ortiz can fill seats for the young promotion and give it increased exposure through his star power. The problem is Affliction will have to be very cautious about who they select as his opponents. The deal will get done because Ortiz does not have other viable options. The UFC will not resign Ortiz to a deal the size he wants. They will only take him back for a low number and there is no way Ortiz will crawl back to them for less pay.
His future is with Affliction and battling against the organization who told him he was no longer a top fighter. What we are seeing right now is classic sports negotiation. There are already limited options for a big name free agent fighter, but Tito's are even more scarce because of his feud with Dana White. Affliction has all the leverage and can wait for Tito to agree to their terms (which will still be a big contract, just not as big as Tito's head). He has little choice and in the coming weeks will become the newest addition to Affliction's expanding roster.