After Monday afternoon’s shocking announcement that heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar would be forced out of his UFC 106 title defense against Shane Carwin, the UFC has decided to promote the co-main event rematch between former UFC light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin to the night’s final fight.
Ortiz took a razor-thin split decision in their initial clash at UFC 59 back in 2006. He went on to dominate Ken Shamrock in back-to-back bouts after that, however most would agree that the Griffin scrap was the last significant W in his illustrious career.
The controversial wrestler was last seen dropping a unanimous decision to current 205-pound king Lyoto Machida at UFC 84 in May 2008. It was believed to be his last with the only organization he had ever called home.
The 34-year-old has been a massive pain in Dana White’s ass over the years, and the fact that he’s gone 0-2-1 over his last three contests made it easy to see why the UFC wanted to cut ties.
However, Ortiz is still one of MMA’s most polarizing figures, which ultimately equates to dollars. That drawing power was enough for the two to bury the hatchet and extend their partnership for a few more years.
Griffin was last seen sprinting to his locker room after he was knocked unconscious by UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva with the most vicious and devastating walking-away jab the Octagon has ever witnessed.
Since that humiliating loss at UFC 101 in August, Griffin has stayed below the MMA radar. He recently took a break from training to tie the knot to his long-time girlfriend, so things aren’t all bad for the popular slugger.
However, Forrest does need a win pretty badly, especially if you take into account he’s gone a mundane 2-2 over his last four outings.
Here are the fighters rumored to be competing inside the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada:
Brock Larson and Brian Foster
Jason Dent vs. George Sotiropoulos
Fabricio Camoes vs. Caol Uno
Kendall Grove vs. Jake Rosholt
Marcus Davis vs. Ben Saunders
Phil Baroni vs. Amir Sadollah
Dustin Hazelett vs. Karo Parisyan
Luiz Cane vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz