By MATT BOONE
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Despite initially declining an offer for a rematch with Rashad Evans, the recently revived “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” will in fact tangle with “Suga” inside the octagon once again, according to a recent tweet from UFC president Dana White.
“Get ready philly for Rashad Evans vs Tito Ortiz!!! Aug 6th LIVE on PPV at the Wells Fargo Center!!!!!!” said White via Twitter.
Ortiz later confirmed the news on his own Twitter account, writing “Only for the UFC!”
So there you have it. Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz II is official for UFC 133 on August 6th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The UFC 133 event was originally scheduled to feature Rashad Evans vs. Jon Jones in a UFC light heavyweight title match. From there, Jones pulled out due to injury, changing the show to feature Evans vs. Phil Davis as the new main event. Another injury caused the latest change, as Davis is out. Originally, Ortiz and Lyoto Machida reportedly declined to take the fight on four weeks notice. Now, we have our fight, and it's a good one.
Ortiz and Evans first met back in July of 2007 at UFC 73. That fight ended in a draw, which was the last time Ortiz went inside the octagon with the result being anything other than a loss.
Since the fight, Ortiz dropped decisions to former champions Lyoto Machida and Forrest Griffin, as well as a decision loss to former pupil Matt Hamill.
Ortiz now comes into this Evans rematch off a win, a first for Ortiz in nearly five years. A big one too. Ortiz impressively took out Ryan Bader in under two minutes, knocking the former Ultimate Fighter winner down and choking him out at UFC 132 back on July 2. With the victory, Ortiz saved his UFC career and put himself in a position where another big win could have him actually relevant in the UFC light heavyweight title picture. A win over Rashad Evans, especially if it comes in impressive fashion, could put Ortiz one fight away from a title shot, if not immediately in line.
“Suga” Rashad has gone 5-1 since his draw with Ortiz in 2007, picking up big wins over the likes of Michael Bisping, Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Thiago Silva, and most recently Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The lone defeat came at the hands of Lyoto Machida, a knockout loss which caused Evans to lose the UFC title he won with his victory over Griffin in 2008.
A win over Ortiz would likely put Evans in line for a shot at Jon Jones' light heavyweight title, a fight Evans already had lined up before Jones had to pull out due to injury.
UFC 133 emanates from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaia on August 6. The card is supported by two exciting co-main events as Rich Franklin battles Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Vitor Belfort returns to take on Yoshihiro Akiyama.
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