With many in doubt over Tito Ortiz‘s future with the UFC, news has emerged that the ”Huntington Beach Badboy” still has a job with the promotion, Dana White confirmed today that Tito will take on Pride FC veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, the twin brother of former Pride and UFC Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The bout has so far been rumoured to take place at UFC 128 but is yet to be finalised by the UFC, Dana did confirm that the bout is likely for March 2011 and according to recent reports the UFC is set to make a trip back to Abu Dhabi for its 128 venue that will take place on March 19th 2011.
The UFC’s UK President Marshall Zelaznik addressed the situation and said: ” I know there’s been talk of March 19th potentially happening. While we’re looking at delivering a pay per view event around that time, nothings been defined in terms of whether Abu Dhabi gets it or someone else.”
Tito Ortiz will be looking to bounce back his most recent loss as his former TUF 3 student Matt ‘The Hammer’ Hamill bested him at UFC 121. Ortiz hasn’t registered a win in the UFC since 2006 when he defeated Ken Shamrock via TKO in the first round, and since then has lost to Chuck Liddell, he managed a draw against Rashad Evans, before losing to both Forrest Griffin and Lyoto Machida. In many eyes this fight will be seen as a make or break for Tito as he desperately needs a win, to guarantee his place in the UFC and add relevance to his status in the light heavyweight division.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is also coming off a loss from his latest outing in the UFC, where he lost to TUF 8 winner Ryan Bader via Unanimous Decision. So far lil Nog has had a solid start to his UFC career with wins over Luis Cane and Jason Brilz. Nogueira is a veteran of Japanese promotion Pride FC and has beaten the likes of Alistair Overeem, Dan Henderson, Kazushi Sakuraba and also fought to a decision loss against current UFC light heavyweight Champion Mauricio Shogun Rua within the Japanese promotion. Antonio will also need a win to solidify his status in the UFC if he is to make a legitimate run at the UFC light heavyweight Championship