Third time’s the charm?
After original main event fighter Phil Davis was forced out of UFC 133 with an injury, it appears the first two attempts to find a replacement to step in on short notice have turned up no takers.
The first call went out to former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, who was successful in his last bout against Ryan Bader at UFC 132 on July 2.
According to Ortiz, the timing wasn’t right and with other things going on in his life, taking a fight on three weeks notice wasn’t the best option.
“I have a life and things to take care of. The fight game is about making the right choices of my career. If you knew what I have been going through you all would understand. Peaking for a fight is what makes a fighter unstoppable! Timing is everything in life. This is a rebuild year for me not do or die. The time will come again,” Ortiz wrote on his personal Twitter page late Tuesday night.
The other option the UFC was hopeful for was the last person to defeat Evans in the Octagon, former champion Lyoto Machida.
Now, according to both his wife and manager Ed Soares, the Brazilian doesn’t believe he would have enough time to prepare for the bout, and is turning it down as well.
Soares confirmed the news to Tatame.com on Wednesday.
“It won’t happen… I think he doesn’t have enough time to get ready,” Soares said . “I’m at Rio de Janeiro with Jose Aldo, Anderson (Silva) and (Rodrigo) Minotauro. do Joinha (Jorge Guimarães) is dealing with this negotiations, but, from what I know, it won’t happen.”
With Machida and Ortiz seemingly out of the picture, the options appear to be few for the UFC to salvage the UFC 133 main event.
There is a light heavyweight co-main event on the card with Rich Franklin taking on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, but both fighters are coming off losses and someone would have to step in and replace them if either is yanked to fill the slot in the main event.
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has a knack for making things happens, now he gets another opportunity to prove it.