As expected, the world’s premier mixed martial arts show has announced “UFC Fight Night 24” will go down March 26th inside the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. A light heavyweight scrap between Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will headline the Spike TV broadcast.
“This is a must-win fight for Tito Ortiz,” UFC president Dana White said. “Everyone knows that Tito and I have had a rocky relationship, but he’s been with us since we started this company and we’re on good terms now. This is the biggest fight of his career. ‘Lil Nog’ is ranked in the top 10 in the world and a win puts Tito back in the mix.”
Ortiz dropped a convincing unanimous decision to Matt Hamill at UFC 121, plummeting his record to 0-4-1 over his last five contests.
The former champ holds a respectable 15-8-1 record, but it can be argued the soon-to-be 36-year-old hasn’t posted a significant win since taking a split decision from Vitor Belfort at UFC 51 way back in February of 2005.
“I’m ready to get back in there and kick some ass,” Ortiz said. “‘Lil Nog’ is one of the best fighters in the world. He’s dangerous on the feet and on the ground; that’s why you won’t hear me talking any smack. I have a lot of respect for him and I can’t wait to get back in there and give the fans in Seattle a great show.”
Nogueira was last seen at UFC 119, where he too also was a victim of a unanimous decision loss. Prior to the defeat, the PRIDE vet was riding a seven-fight win streak, which included Octagon wins over Luiz Cane and Jason Brilz, respectively.
“Tito Ortiz is a former champion and I’m excited to get the chance to fight him in the main event in Seattle,” Nogueira said. “I’m training hard and expect a difficult fight. Tito’s ground and pound is really good and he is a talented athlete. This should be a great fight for the fans.”
In addition to the MMA legends, the UFC also confirmed Anthony Johnson vs. Dan Hardy, Duane “Bang” Ludwig vs. Amir Sadollah, as well as the highly anticipated rematch between featherweights Nam Phan and Leonard Garcia.
UFC Fight Club members will have the opportunity to purchase seats for the show on Thursday, January 27th at 10AM ET/7AM PT via UFCFightClub.com.
A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC Newsletter subscribers on Friday, January 28th at 10AM ET/7AM PT.
The general public will have access to the remains on Saturday, January 29th at 10AM ET/7AM PT.
Here are the athletes expected to participate in the freebie fight card:
Michael McDonald vs. Nick Pace
Jon Madsen vs. Mike Russow
Aaron Simpson vs. Mario Miranda
Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres vs. Mackens Semerzier
John Hathaway vs. Kris McCray
Sean McCorkle vs. Christian Morecraft
Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia*
Amir Sadollah vs. Duane “Bang” Ludwig*
Dan Hardy vs. Anthony Johnson*
Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira*
* – Only bouts confirmed by UFC