There’s been a number of twists and turns in the plot, but finally the headline bout of UFC 133 has a new headliner as Tito Ortiz steps up to save the day by accepting a short-notice fight with Rashad Evans.
Ortiz had been the UFC’s first port of call when original main eventer Phil Davis pulled out injury, but the former champion had initially turned it down, stating that he needed to make the right choice for his career and there wasn’t enough time to prepare properly for this fight having been given less than four weeks notice.
The UFC then turned to Lyoto Machida who also turned down the opportunity given the limited time frame, leaving the promotion with a major headache.
Luckily in the past 24 hours Ortiz has apparently had a change of heart however, whether of his own doing or more than likely with some monetary persuasion from the UFC, with Dana White confirming on Twitter that he had now accepted the fight.
“Get ready philly for Rashad Evans vs Tito Ortiz!!! Aug 6th LIVE on PPV at the Wells Fargo Center!!!!!” White stated, no doubt relieved to finally have a headline bout again for the show.
For his part Ortiz simply posted, “Only for the UFC!”
It’s a bold move by ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ given that he’s only just got his career back on track with a much needed victory – his first in five years – against Ryan Bader less than two weeks ago.
Now he’s putting it all on the line again and could be right back where he started if he doesn’t pick up a win, though his decision to help the UFC out of a bad spot here will reflect well upon him and may ensure that win or lose he’ll still remain in the promotion.
Of course Evans and Ortiz have fought once before back in the summer of 2007 and on that occasion it ended in a draw so there is a score to be settled here. Since that time Evans has went on to hold the belt briefly, going 5-1 in the process while Ortiz has gone 1-3 and spent a considerable amount of time on the treatment table due to major back surgery.