The UFC have today confirmed that Tito Ortiz will now face Forrest Griffin at UFC 106 on November 21st. As we reported earlier in the week Mark Coleman was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout with Ortiz after tearing his ACL and the UFC have now acted swiftly to find a suitable replacement for the co-main event of the evening
Pairing off two of the sports best known fighters is a bold step and one that will generate even more interest in a card that is already sure to draw major attention due to the heavyweight clash between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin that headlines the show.
Ortiz and Griffin have met before, at UFC 59 in April of 2006 in a memorable back and forth fight that went the distance with Ortiz edging out a razor thin split decision. Despite losing, the fight would be a turning point for Griffin who had already found fame thanks to his classic fight with Stephan Bonnar at the season finale of the original series of The Ultimate Fighter. Battling tooth and nail for three rounds against Ortiz, a former 6 time light heavweight champion, proved that Griffin was more than just a reality tv star and could compete with the best in the division.
It was a point he would prove again in future fights, gaining victories over former pride stars Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and then Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson to win the light heavyweight championship. He is currently on a two fight losing streak however having lost the belt to Rashad Evans, and then being humbled by Anderson Silva in his last outing at UFC 101 in August.
Posting two defeats and a draw in his last three outings in the octagon Tito Ortiz will have an opportunity to get his career back on track with another win over Griffin. It is perhaps not the fight he would ideally have wanted at this stage though. In his first fight back after an 18 month lay off in which he had surgery to fix a long term problem with his back, Tito Ortiz had stated that he was looking to have a ‘tune up’ fight to ease himself back into action. Though the 44 year old Mark Coleman was seem by many to be that, Forrest Griffin will pose significantly more of a threat for ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Body.”
For both fighters a win would be a much needed shot-in-the-arm for their careers, whilst defeat would be a major set-back. With questions being asked over Forrest Griffins mental state of mind after his last loss and doubts remaining over Tito Ortiz’s fitness after a long lay off we have all the ingredients for a compelling fight to look forward to at UFC 106.