UFC president Dana White may have to wait a few months before he makes good on his threats to fire Tito Ortiz. Tito Ortiz has pulled out of his UFC Fight Night fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. A cut to Ortiz’s eye has canceled the fight and arguably delayed the inevitable.
Dana White said several weeks ago that if Tito Ortiz did not win his next fight he would be cut. The news was surprising to some but not to most MMA fans who recognize that it has been years since Ortiz has been able to deliver on any of his many promises at victory. While Ortiz hasn’t been knocked out or tapped since returning to the UFC, his high price tag makes it tough for the UFC to continue promoting the guy in high profile matches who has gone 0-2 since returning to the UFC in 2009.
[adinserter block=”2″]Dana White made the official announcement on his Twitter of Ortiz pulling out of the fight. This seems to be a recurring pattern with Ortiz who pulled out of UFC 115 and a big fight with Chuck Liddell due to injury. White was so upset that he pulled Ortiz in the middle of his coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter. Tito Ortiz said on his Twitter that the cut needed 22 stitches. Additionally the ex-champion said that he suffered a concussion.
Maybe if he can’t get through training without suffering injuries it may be time for Tito to seriously consider retirement. Just saying!
Like him or not, a lot of UFC fans were excited to hear that they would get the chance to watch Tito Ortiz’s next fight for free on Spike TV. The contract between the UFC and Spike is coming due which is resulting in the UFC stepping up the star power of the live broadcasts. Ortiz’s last fight on Spike vs. Ken Shamrock shattered records. A “must win” situation for both Ortiz and Lil’ Nog would have been a ratings hit as the event is already close to selling out live.
Phil Davis will step in for the Huntington Beach Bad Boy with a new main event of Phil Davis vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on Fight Night: Seattle. Davis won’t have the same appeal amongst casual MMA fans that Ortiz has, but this is actually a much better fight. Davis is 8-0 but hasn’t faced anyone with the credentials of Nogueira. Davis’ biggest win would probably be a decision over Brian Stann at UFC 109.
[adinserter block=”1″]Davis vs. Nogueira offers a battle of two grappling experts. Hardcore MMA fans are getting excited, but this won’t have the same appeal to casual fans that a standup battle between Lil’ Nog and Ortiz would have had. I would assume this is still a “must win” fight for Nogueira so I give him credit for accepting a fight with a more dangerous replacement in Davis. Nog lost a decision to Ryan Bader and looked bad in doing so back at UFC 119. Like Ortiz, he has a lot to prove on Fight Night and it hasn’t gotten any easier.
As a whole, the Fight Night card on paper may be the strongest lineup that UFC has ever put on Spike for a Fight Night. Almost every fight on the broadcast would have been a past Fight Night main-event. The opener featuring Garcia vs. Phan is a highly anticipated rematch and could be the show stealer.
The main UFC Fight Night: Seattle card…
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Phil Davis
Dan Hardy vs. Anthony Johnson
Duane “Bang” Ludwig vs. Amir Sadollah
Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan