Dana White Confirms Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans Rematch at UFC 133
Contrary to initial reports by Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, in which he claimed that Dana White had confirmed Lyoto Machida as Rashad Evans substitute opponent for UFC 133, it will be Tito Ortiz the one to replace Phil Davis next month at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. In an attempt to put an end to all confusion regarding a potential Machida vs Evans rematch, the outspoken UFC president sounded off this week. In true, Dana White fashion, the boss gave a detailed account of why the negotiations with the Brazilian went south:
“Machida’s been champing at the bit to fight and telling us, ‘I want to fight, I want to fight,’ so when we called and offered him the fight [with Evans]. He said, ‘I’ll fly out there tomorrow to fight if you pay me what you pay Anderson Silva,’ ” White explained. “I was like, ‘f*** you! Achieve what Anderson Silva has achieved and maybe you’ll get paid that way.’ And so we moved on.”
White’s second choice for this fight was none other than “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy”, who is coming off one of the biggest wins of his career. Saving a UFC card that seemed doomed when the announcement of Phil Davis’ injury was made public, the former UFC light heavyweight champ accepted to fight Evans with less than a month to prepare.
“I’m a UFC fighter and the UFC needed me,” he said. “I wanted to step up and help the UFC and do something for the fans who have supported me so much.”
There are a lot of reasons why the Ortiz vs Evans rematch has the potential to become great main event, but none so more than the fact that these guys know each other well and have a score to settle. Tito and Rashad battled to a draw at UFC 73 in July of 2007. Ortiz believes that he would have won that fight easily if it weren’t for him not being close to 100 percent, and having a costly point-deducted for holding on to the fence.
In either case, both men would love to put an end to all speculation as to who is the better wrestler and title contender at 205. After coming out of the Ryan Bader fight unharmed, Tito contacted White, last night, asking if someone had taken the fight. With the spot still up for grabs, the former ground-and-pound king sealed the deal. When you think about it, it’s a win-win situation for Ortiz.
A win over Evans would instantly catapult him among the elite 205ers of the UFC, while a loss would do little to hurt his permanence with the company, especially after saving the day and taking this fight on short notice.
“I’m not worried about the cons at all,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been training for the last eight weeks for the same type of fighter, just a little bit stronger and a little bit younger. Dana asked me if I’d step up and it took me a couple of days to really weigh out the pros and cons. I’m not thinking of any of the cons. I’m just thinking of all the pros. The biggest thing is that Rashad is the No. 1 guy at my weight class and I’m thankful to have this opportunity. I’m going to shock the world again.”