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Who’s Next For Tito Ortiz?

titoortiz1With Mark Coleman out of his anticipated light heavyweight showdown with Tito Ortiz at UFC 106 due to a second-degree tear in his MCL knee ligament, the question now is quite simply: Who’s up next for Tito?

“Hammer” or no “Hammer”, the show must go on.

It goes without saying that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva is currently hard at work trying to negotiate a suitable replacement for Coleman.

I wouldn’t expect for Tito to appear on any card other than UFC 106. Outside of the main event between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin, the card doesn’t really offer much up for the mainstream, and you really want to hit the fans with everything you have during the holiday season for obvious financial reasons.

While Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Luis Arthur Cane is going to be a fight myself and many of you guys will be looking forward to, the general public aren’t nearly as familiar with the two as say, Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin.

Come along as I take a quick look at some of the potential replacement opponents for “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” on November 21. Some of the choices may be a little more realistic than others, but all are worth taking a look at.

Forrest Griffin: These are two of the most marketable fighters in the sport. The enormous financial potential of a rematch between these two, alongside a heavyweight championship bout involving the biggest draw in the sport would very likely surpass the numbers turned in from UFC 100.

Rashad Evans: Although Rashad is lined up to meet Thiago Silva at UFC 108, a more marketable opponent like Tito would make more sense for the remaining coach of the most successful season of The Ultimate Fighter in the show’s history. While the prospect of watching Ortiz and Evans have a Real Pro Wrestling match at UFC 106 gives me knots in my stomach, it’s a fight the UFC would be able to sell like crazy. The fact that the pair fought to a draw in their previous match-up makes the potential bout that much juicier for the casual fan.

Kimbo Slice: You’ve heard the saying before, “If it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense”. Well, a fight between Tito and Kimbo at 205 pounds, or even a catch weight of 210, makes all the sense in the world. Could you imagine the posters with Brock, Carwin, Tito and Kimbo? It would be pure marketing gold.

Dan Henderson: Although Dan is currently still entrenched in brutal contract negotiations, the time to give in to Hendo’s wishes has never been better than now for the UFC. Do what it takes to sign Henderson now, and you’ll be financially reimbursed beyond expectations in November. With Anderson Silva lined up to face Vitor Belfort next for the middleweight crown, a move to light heavyweight for Henderson would be inevitable should he be secured.

Rich Franklin: Another big money fight between two of the biggest draws in the business. I know neither man will be looking to face anyone less than a superstar in their next bout, so a match-up between would seem to make sense to both men.

Jon Jones: Even though Jones is currently slated to face off with Matt Hamill during the TUF 10 Finale on December 5, I’m sure strings could be pulled if it made sense for them to be pulled, but it doesn’t. Jones is way too high of a risk fight for Tito just coming back in to the game. While most of us diehards know all about “Bones” and his potential, the masses generally don’t. Although this bout could be used as a springboard for Jones in the future, the UFC didn’t bring Tito back for him to be anyone’s stepping stone, and they absolutely don’t want to risk their most promising prospect at 205 pounds suffering a defeat at this point. No way this fight happens.

Matt Hamill: Not going to happen. See the third season of The Ultimate Fighter if this requires further explanation.

Brian Stann: Stann would do it in a heart beat, and for good reason. I’ll admit that Stann would be a much sexier choice than someone like Vladimir Matyushenko, and a fight Tito could possibly win, but Ortiz didn’t come back to fight in anything but big fights. Even though Tito would very likely have the answer for Stann, the potential of a knockout loss would outweigh the positives in this one for both the UFC, and Ortiz.

Vladimir Matyushenko: This is a fight that Tito could win but there’s no way I would book it. First off, Vladimir is a great fighter, but imagine the guy that shows up to watch Brock and Tito.

I can hear it already:

PPV Party Attendee #1: Who’s the guy that Tito is fighting?

PPV Party Attendee #2: I think he’s some Russian guy….Vladi…. Vlad something or another (laughs).

PPV Party Attendee #1: Dude, Tito’s gonna smash that ******* ******!

PPV Party Attendee #2: Hell yeah bro!

Then they fight and it’s utterly one of the worst fights in Octagon history. Tito just holding “The Janitor” down and grinding his way to a three round decision victory, as the crowd, starving to see Brock and Shane face off, boo the action for the final two frames.

This one makes little sense other than to give Ortiz a nice, safe welcome back to the UFC.

Randy Couture: This is a longshot due to the fact that Randy is already set to headline UFC 105 against Brandon Vera, and I find it extremely unlikely that the UFC would yank Couture from a main event where his participation is vital. However, he definitely deserves mentioning due to the fact that the fight would sell like popcorn in a movie theater.

Keith Jardine: “The Dean of Mean” is a possibility because it’s a fight that Tito would think that he could definitely win. Appearances can be deceiving, especially in Jardine’s case, but this match-up seems just as likely as any of the others previously mentioned.

If the ball was in my court I’d book the fight with Forest Griffin and laugh all the way to the bank.

Discuss….

47 COMMENTS
  • metalmulisha says:

    Please god no Matyushenko rematch. Their first fight was actually painful to watch.

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  • edub says:

    Agreed. Definately near the top of the most boring UFC fights of all time list.

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  • edub says:

    “This is a longshot due to the fact that Randy is already set to headline UFC 105 against Brandon Vera, and I find it extremely unlikely that the UFC would yank Couture from a main event where his participation is vital.”

    Probably also a longshot do to the fact that Couture still is a horrible matchup for Tito, and he “spanked” him in their first fight.

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  • David Andrest says:

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I just had a thought.

    Wanderlei Silva!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Wanderlei will not want to lose another fight so he probably wouldnt take this one.

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  • edub says:

    Also Wand should keep with the plan to stay at 185. Hes better suited for a run at the title there.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Actually, that thought has me really thinking.

    IF -IF- Vitor somehow catches Anderson and KO’s him, and Wanderlei reinvents himself at MW, how sweet would that rematch be. The first fight at 205, now let’s try it at MW.

    I miss the Pride era Axe Murderer!!

    (I still believe he would have beat Chuck at 77 if he had shaved his head)

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  • xtreme_machine says:

    Forrest, Henderson , and Franklin are the best choices in that order

    but i think that Hendo would beat him and Forrest has a small chance

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  • fraz says:

    I hope they put Forrest in there but I’m worried they are going to wuss out and put Bonnar in there to give Tito a relatively easy fight for his first fight back and then they can set Tito up for “payday fights” in 2010…Tito-Chuck 3, Tito-Rashad 2, Tito- Forrest 2…and if Tito looks good…Tito-Lyoto 2 eventually (and unfortunately).

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  • fetussandwich says:

    To me, I think Jardine makes the most sense here. A rematch with Forrest coming off his losses to Silva and Evans and the whole “avenging a loss to Tito” angle wouldn’t make any sense at all.

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  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    I still feel it will be Rogerio Nogueira or Luis Cane (more likely Cane since he’s a future title contender).

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  • David Lo Pan says:

    What about Vera? That would be interesting. I pray that Joe Silva and co. don’t mess with the Cane/Nogueira bout.
    1) Hendo
    2) Franklin
    3) Vera
    4) Bones
    5) Bader
    6) Bonnar
    7) Stann

    As for the possible (likely) scenario for a bout between Tito & Matyushenko, I can already hear it…”USA! USA! USA!”

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • mu_shin says:

    As we sit here today 10/6, if they booked Forrest tomorrow, he’d be pressed to get in shape by 11/21, as I’ve seen him interviewed in the last week and he was not training at all, talking about his honeymoon I think, and not thinking about fighting.

    Have to agree with F-sandwich, of the fighters mentioned the one I really could see in this situation is Jardine. Keith is dangerously inconsistent, both to himself and to his opponents. If the Jardine shows up who KO’d Chuck, could be a tough night for Tito, but the KJ we saw against Silva would be a gift. I think a lot of fans would like to see Evans/Ortiz, but that would be a danderous re-entry into the LHW picture for Tito, with a good possibility he could lose that one.

    Of course, we’re all making a lot of assumptions, because as of Nov. 21, it will be eighteen months since Tito had the cage door locked behind him. I’m hoping Tito has taken the time to train himself back into fighting form, and that he has fully recovered from the surgery to his back. To silence the haters and encourage his fans, I really hope Tito puts on a good show.

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  • neijia says:

    Definitely Jardine. His old man stance is so funny he is entertaining to watch whether he is doing well or not so well.

    I want to see Wanderlei make a comeback at 185. He ain’t taking the belt from Anderson Silva, but I want to see who can get #1 contender status.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    They need somebody just like Coleman: A fighter who isn’t a serious threat. If UFC is trying to build Tito back up, they won’t give him a serious test the first time out. A loss in the first fight of Tito’s come back would seriously damage his marketability. UFC’s best bet is to match Tito against a younger fighter would be willing to take the fight in hopes of making a name for himself by beating one of the legends.

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  • Xspur says:

    The more I try to think about who Tito should fight instead, the more I realize how great of a matchup Coleman was…

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  • YetiLee says:

    I don’t see the UFC giving Tito a “young fighter”, just because if he loses then the whole signing of Tito is worthless. I have to agree with others and say I think it will be Bonnar because it is a fight that Tito should win and Bonnar is a name the casual fans have heard of.

    But to be honest, I don’t care who he fights, I just want to see Tito back in action.

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  • Pajamashark says:

    I’d like to see Rashad, Franklin, or Hendo. If Tito comes in top form then taking one of these guys would be a distinct possibility and really make a good impression for his re-entry to the UFC. Plus, Rashad, Franklin and Hendo have unimpeachable credibility in the UFC as seriously talented fighters so a win over them would be a real comeback instead of throwing easy fights his way.

    I’m not really a Tito fan, although he has undeniable skills. But I am a Bonnar and Forrest fan so I’d rather not see them get throw under the Tito-comeback bus by the UFC. Leave Forrest alone for a bit as it’s too short notice to train for a such a dangerous fighter like Tito, and I think mentally he’s not in a good place right now. Not that Forrest is ever the picture of sanity, but you know.

    A Kimbo match up would basically be like printing money, but I have a feeling Kimbo would do anything for money. Expect to see him in Tony Stewart Whopper commercials in a few years next to Carrot Top lamenting the sales of his Kimbo Slicer.

    However putting this many “bad boys” on one card will be anathema to the credibility of the UFC. Dana White would have to do two things: 1) rename the card “UFC 106- Borderline Personality Disorder” and 2) bring several changes of underwear as he creams his Calvins repeatedly from the money and publicity rolling off of these three guys.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    “Kimbo Slicer” thats a great product name.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    The Kimbo Slicer? “Hit it hard and it breaks, and you can’t use it on the ground. But it sure looks sturdy!”

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  • moosebaby02 says:

    YES Kimbo Slicer
    I say you give him Franklin. Thats my personal dream cause he will F-ing crush tito. Calling a 44 year old man a sissy for tearing out his knee. How bout this for a sissy FIGHTING A 44 YEAR OLD MAN FOR A COMEBACK FIGHT WHEN YOUR 10 YEARS YOUNGER JUST TO INSURE YOU WONT LOSE.
    if he is the man that he claims to be when this fight was offered tito should have been insulted due the fact the UFC has no confidence in him to beat a top 15 fighter in the UFC. He can do all the speech’s he wants about how he is 100% but I guarantee you as soon as he get his as kick there be something wrong with him before the fight happened thats that will be the excuses for losing. He is a joke that time has left far behind with his one old style of fighting.
    Jones, Bader, Soszynski, Vera, Hamill, will all kill tito.
    Hell put him in there with James Irvin and he will still get killed.
    He is a non factor in the UFC and is just there to sell tickets. When the UFC is done with him he will get casted off like the rest to make room for fighters who have the skill on different levels and techniques who people like me will want to see since it will be more entraining that tito.
    The signing of the tito vs Colman fight was a joke from the begging anyways. Now lets see if the UFC has any credibility left with who the put in there with him.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    You’re fuggin crazy Moose!

    Last I checked Tito did better than ANYONE against Machida….. not even at 100%

    Franklin would get steamrolled, by the way. Just so you know. Badly.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^) ||
    | T I T O | ||'””|””\___,
    | _____________ l ||__|_|___| )
    (@!)!(@)”””””**|(@) (@)***|(@)

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^) ||
    | TITO ORTIZ——- | ||'””|””\___,
    | _____________ l ||__|_|___| )
    (@!)!(@)”””””**|(@) (@)***|(@)
    –Rich Ace Franklin–

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  • moosebaby02 says:

    your crazy ozz.
    Franklin will kill tito. and sue he did good aginst a still getting his grove on Dragon. He will put tito in his grave if they were to go again .

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    That’s a bet I may have to take with you.

    The first attempt on the truck was an utter failure, by the way.

    (I’m waiting for you, MetalMulisha!! LOL)

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  • moosebaby02 says:

    fine ozz its a bet my friend.

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  • moosebaby02 says:

    i will take who ever they put in front of tito via TKO

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  • fetussandwich says:

    You realize the last person he TKOed who wasn’t named Ken Shamrock was in 2001, right?

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  • moosebaby02 says:

    ya thats why im taking who ever they put “IN FRONT OF HIM” too KO tito.
    come on ozz do you got the balls??? Im going in blind

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I’ll take it. Doesn’t matter who it is. He will win. Machida couldn’t knock him out.

    I’ll also go so far as to say, blindly, that Wanderlei will win his next fight in devastating fashion.

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    Seems like Franklin or Forrest makes the most sense IMO. You have to wonder how long they will keep putting Jardine in (co)main events considering his last 2 fights. I know he put up a fight against Rampage but he was destroyed by Thiago Silva. fetus makes a good point, Tito doesn’t make it a habit of finishing fights lately so I don’t think Tito is going to tko anybody.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Aside from that, look at the level of competition the guy has faced, all of whom were in their prime.

    Liddell, Couture, Belfort, Evans, Machida……. 4 of 5 are former LHW Champs, the other going for a MW championship.

    Liddell KO’d him twice, but that’s his own damn fault for playing the stand and trade game. Decision losses to Couture & Machida, and a draw with Evans?

    It’s a no brainer to me.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Pajamashark says:

    The Kimbo Slicer: it’s an electric knife with a beard.

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    He’s definitely fought some tough guys in his career, but he sure doesn’t finish them.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Definately not arguing that one, Jstew. But he does go the distance. That’s all I’m saying. I think if he really is as dedicated to it as he talks now, he very well could make one more run.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Jstew3785 says:

    I’ve never been a big Tito fan, but I would like to see if he has another run in him. I doubt he does, but it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with him.

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  • “Liddell, Couture, Belfort, Evans, Machida……. 4 of 5 are former LHW Champs, the other going for a MW championship.”

    Belfort is a former LHW champ as well.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Touche

    Well played sir. Also, one is the CURRENT LHW champ. I noticed that after I clicked submit……

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  • edub says:

    Should be Stann. Let Ortiz get a win against a guy who should be out of the UFC now anyway. Then when he’s got the Octagon rust off put him in with the winner of Rashad and Thiago.

    Then have the winner of Cane and lil Nog fight the winner of Couture and Vera….

    Bam you have the next two title contenders.

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  • moosebaby02 says:

    good call dub. but i dont see Stann vs Tito.
    I think it will be Bonner. Bigger name than Stann and still an easy target for him as well.
    Either way Cane, lil Nog, Vera, Couture will put a stomping on Tito anyways.
    This is straight money run for him. He knows where he can make his last big paydays and that’s in the UFC. So he is going to say all the right things, stir up the pot with who ever he fights to sell his tickets and then he will be done. He gets his face out their one more time when MMA is as big as it is now then something else in the entertainment world will come up for him to make some cash. He cant do anything now since he has been out tune with the world for some time. Get your 3 fights, get your face back out there then pull a Rampage with more star power.
    That’s all this is. Ya he is an idiot but not when it comes to marketing himself.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • Xspur says:

    “Liddell KO’d him twice, but that’s his own damn fault for playing the stand and trade game.”

    Sorry Ozz, just feel a need to comment on that statement. He tried to take Liddell down, he failed. That’s more Liddells decision than Titto’s.

    As for Franklin as a possible opponent, I’m not saying Franklin would lose, because i think he could win it, but lets give Franklin a break and a good match up for him, kinda an ego booster so to speak.

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  • lemonheadzzz says:

    I want to see this rematch. He might could win.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uol0oj-TtM

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  • s13 says:

    I think it would be the perfect time to do Tito vs Forrest II

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • fetussandwich says:

    I just don’t see him stepping in after all this layoff against a Franklin or a Henderson or Evans again, not yet at least. I don’t think they’d want to toss him to the lions and make him less marketable with a potential loss right off the bat. The more and more we exhaust these options, the more and more I really miss the original match up against Coleman.

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  • Pajamashark says:

    Oh god, Forrest is fighting Tito.

    Well, you called it Cory. I’m very ambivalent about this match-up but I will be watching come November 21st.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Cory Brady says:

    I figured it was the wisest financial decision for all of those involved. At it’s core, isn’t that what booking fights is all about?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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