One man’s injury is a big gain for UFC. UFC has found a replacement for Mark Coleman to fight Tito Ortiz at UFC 106. In fact, the new match is one of the most anticipated rematches in UFC history. Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz will finally rematch at UFC 106.
This is huge and blows away any business that Coleman vs. Ortiz would have done. To me, Coleman was a big name who was an easy setup for Ortiz. Coleman was a guy that UFC and Ortiz could get away with at the same time knowing full well that it was a mismatch. I expected someone like Keith Jardine, so the match definitely surprises me. Forrest Griffin is hardly a setup and this is anything but a tune up for the Huntingdon Beach Bad Boy.
[adinserter block=”1″]Ortiz and Forrest Griffin are both former UFC light heavyweight champions. Ortiz and Griffin fought for the first time back at UFC 59 in 2006. Ironically, Griffin was Ortiz’s first opponent after a long layoff due to a contract dispute. In my opinion, the fight was set up as a tune up for Ortiz before Ken Shamrock, but was anything but a cake walk. The fight went the distance with Ortiz getting a close split-decision. To this day, many MMA fans think this decision was purely based on business and had nothing to do with the fight.
This is a huge rematch and kudos to UFC for wasting no time to capitalize on it. Obviously there is a big difference in the Forrest Griffin that fought Ortiz in 2006 as opposed to the Forrest Griffin in 2009. Ortiz was by far the biggest fight in the short UFC career of Griffin back in 2006. Griffin isn’t going to be overwhelmed by Ortiz or the big stage at UFC 106. Since UFC 59, Griffin has been in there with everyone from Chuck Liddell to Anderson Silva. Griffin will not be intimidated by Tito Ortiz.
Griffin lost a ton of credibility with the loss to Anderson Silva. It was definitely a weird fight, but weird things happen in MMA. Griffin was dominated and looked like a boy in a man’s world. I think Griffin has received far too much negative criticism for the fight. He was fighting arguably the best fighter in all of MMA. Griffin ran out of the octagon following the win which left a very bad taste in the mouths of MMA and UFC fans. Anything less than an exceptional effort by Forrest Griffin could do irreparable damage to his MMA credibility and his star power.
This is a very gutsy fight for Ortiz to take. On paper, I think Ortiz is the underdog. Ortiz hasn’t won a fight since beating Ken Shamrock back-to-back in 2006. On the flip side, Ortiz was more competitive with Lyoto Machida than anyone has been with the current UFC champion. Ortiz was pushing to keep things standing up against Machida. I don’t know at Ortiz’s age if he has the reflexes to go toe-to-toe with Griffin standing up. If anything, Anderson Silva absolutely exposed a ton of weakness in Griffin’s standup game.
[adinserter block=”2″]The fight will co-headline the UFC 106 event with Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin for the UFC heavyweight title. A Griffin-Ortiz rematch should make for an excellent pre-fight Spike TV special. UFC 106 has gone from a decent even to a must-see marquee night for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Tito Ortiz accused Mark Coleman of “sissying out” of their match. Ortiz has done anything but “sissy out” by taking the fight with former TUF winner Forrest Griffin.
Forrest Griffin UFC 59 post-fight interview on the split decision with Tito Ortiz
Thanks to MMAFanhouse.com for the tip!
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Tito Ortiz’s autobiography This Is Gonna Hurt: The Life of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion by clicking here.