Speculation has pointed to a bout between former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira being moved from UFC 128 to UFC Fight Night 24. Ortiz, in a recent video post on Qik, made the move official.
The video shows Ortiz signing his bout agreement. He states, “It says fighter, Nogueira; March 26, 2011; Seattle, Wash.”
UFC 128 is slated for March 19, 2011, in New Jersey. UFC Fight Nigh 24 will take place a week later, with Ortiz confirming the previously rumored Seattle location.
“Seattle, I’m coming,” he declared. “So, Nogueira, you better be ready. Kicking some ass March 26, here I come baby. It’s on.”
MMAWeekly.com sources recently indicated that Ortiz vs. Nogueira will headline the UFC Fight Night 24 fight card.
Formerly one of the most dominant champions the UFC has known, Ortiz is on his last leg with the promotion.
“I thought I was gonna cut him, too,” White told MMAWeekly.com, when posed with the idea that most people thought Ortiz would be cut loose after losing to Matt Hamill at UFC 121.
“Tito said, ‘I’m not done,’” White added. “And he asked me for one more chance, so I’m gonna do it.
“This is definitely his last chance. And he knows that, too.”
Ortiz (15-8-1) hasn’t won a bout since defeating Ken Shamrock at the UFC’s “Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter” in October 2006. He has gone 0-4-1 following that bout, drawing with Rashad Evans, but losing to Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, Forrest Griffin, and, most recently, Matt Hamill.
Not many fighters with that type of record, even against such top competition, receive the opportunity that Ortiz now has to redeem himself. That opportunity, particularly in a headline bout, is a credit to Ortiz’s longevity with the only fight promotion he has ever really considered his home. His first professional bout was in the Octagon at UFC 13.
Nogueira (19-4) is coming off of a loss to Ryan Bader at UFC 119 in September. Prior to that, the No. 8 ranked light heavyweight in the world was on a seven-fight winning streak and nearing title contention.
UFC Fight Night 24 has yet to be officially announced by the promotion. It serves as build-up to the premier of the 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, which airs on March 30 on Spike TV.