Next week, at UFC 73 in Sacramento, Calif., Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans will be face-to-face in the Octagon. Tonight, on MMAWeekly Radio, they will follow each other in back-to-back interviews.
Ortiz was on a five-fight winning streak before he once again ran into the hands of Chuck Liddell on the UFC’s year-end show on Dec. 30. He had strung together victories over Patrick Cote, Vitor Belfort, Forrest Griffin and twice over Ken Shamrock.
Despite another highly publicized and controversial feud with UFC President Dana White and the distractions of running his own Punishment Athletics clothing company, Ortiz is ready to step back in the Octagon and prove his worth as a contender in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. With Liddell ousted as champion by Quinton Jackson, Ortiz has more than ever on the line. A decisive win over Evans would start him back on his way into title contention.
Even though he and Jackson have a long-standing friendship, if the right circumstances came together, including a title shot and the proper compensation, it is not out of the question that the two would step into the Octagon to face each other.
As a member of one of the hottest MMA camps in the world right now, Greg Jackson’s fight team in New Mexico, Rashad Evans is looking for that breakout fight that puts him squarely in the midst of the top ten rankings. A win over Ortiz would likely solidify his climb in the light heavyweight ranks and position him in the red zone for a title shot.
With a 10-0 professional record including wins over Jason Lambert, Stephan Bonnar and others, The Ultimate Fighter veteran Evans believes he is ready for the likes of Ortiz. It can’t hurt his preparations that teammate Nate Marquardt is vying for Anderson Silva’s UFC Middleweight Championship the same night.
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