One time UFC poster boy Tito Ortiz hasn't fought in more than a year. And it's been nearly three years since he last won a fight.
Plagued by back problems for several years, his last bout was a loss to current UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Prior to that, a draw with former UFC champion Rashad Evans and a loss to another former UFC champion in Chuck Liddell.
But following back surgery in October of 2008, Ortiz has recently been cleared to train full speed ahead.
"My doctor just released me. I feel great. My cardio is great. I'm excited to get back in there. I'm 100 percent, no more pain running down my back."
In a seemingly revolving door of endless negotiations, the former UFC champion sounds as if he is nearing the time when he will set foot back in the cage, once again ready to compete.
"I'm in negotiations right now with Strikeforce and working with CBS and Showtime, so all three of us are going back and forth to make a contract that makes sense to me," he told MMAWeekly.com recently.
"Hopefully by October I'll be competing. We're finishing the contract I'd say with CBS, Showtime, and Strikeforce and making a deal that UFC can't match."
If that deal does come to fruition, Ortiz says he's ready and has his near future already mapped out.
"I feel sorry for the person they have me fight, but I do need one warm-up fight," he said. "I managed to come off a huge back surgery. It's been a year since I've competed. I think one warm-up fight to get things going."
But after that, it's full speed ahead, and truly so if the fight he mentions does end up taking place.
"After that, I don't want no more warm-up fights. I'm hoping by my fourth fight, possibly fight Fedor Emelianenko at a catchweight. That'd be something that I'm looking forward to possibly by the middle of next year."