MMA News: Tito Ortiz Having Back Surgery This Week, EliteXC Ratings

— Mixed martial arts free agent Tito Ortiz recently told that he is going under the knife. “I’m getting surgery … for my lower back,” Ortiz told “I’ve had a problem for the last five years, so I’m finally going to get the surgery done. I’ll be out for about six months, but I’ll be back to fight for another six years. I’m really excited.”

Ortiz went into further detail about the procedure, and how he expects for the surgery to help bring him back to his old championship form. “I have a bulging disc between L4 and L5 and S1, so they’ve got to go in and fuse it,” Ortiz stated. “(It’s) the same thing that Nate Quarry got. So I get it done, and I’ll be able to wrestle the way I used to wrestle.”

Assuming that his surgery goes successfully, Ortiz will be out of action for at least six months, however that doesn’t mean that a deal can’t be made for his services before then. In fact, Ortiz stated that he is in serious talks with EliteXC and something could be finalized within the month. “With EliteXC and CBS and Showtime backing me on this, it’s a possibility that we might get something finished before the month’s over,” Ortiz said. “And the UFC actually has the option to match [any offer]. If they match it, fighters are going to be even more happy because I’ll do it with the UFC. But if I don’t do it with the UFC, I’ll do it with EliteXC and CBS.”

— According to, Elite XC drew 4.38 million viewers last night — an increase of nearly 1.5 million from “Unfinished Business” in July. This number is a lot better than their prior show back in July, which was considered a major disappointment. Here’s the ratings history of EliteXC’s live events on CBS:

May 31 – “Saturday Night Fights”: 1.9/6 share (4 million viewers)
July 26 – “Unfinished Business”: 1.0/3 share (2.62 million viewers)
October – 4 “Heat”: 1.8/6 share (4.38 million viewers)

The success of “Heat” should be enough for CBS to air a fourth event in 2009. On a sour note, all three of EliteXC’s live events on CBS were beat out by “America’s Most Wanted” (FOX) in the 18-49 demographic.