After almost a full day of speculation since it was reported that Phil Davis was out of the UFC 133 main event against Rashad Evans with an injury, UFC finally found a replacement in the form of Tito Ortiz, fresh off his UFC 132 victory just 11 days ago. Evans and Ortiz previously met at UFC 73 all the back in June 2007. The fight ended in a draw after Ortiz was docked a point for grabbing the cage.
Dana White confirmed the fight on his twitter feed.
Ortiz was rumored to be the replacement for Davis just after news broke last night that he was out of the fight but turned it down stating that he didn’t feel the timing was right and that he wasn’t sure his body could peak again so soon after just fighting less than two weeks ago. Once Ortiz’ name was out of the race, UFC turned to Lyoto Machida to step in and face Evans but Machida turned down the bout as well, citing that he wouldn’t have enough time to prepare for the bout.
It appears that Dana and company made it worth Tito’s time as he’s done an about face since last night, accepting the fight and saving the UFC 133 main event. Ortiz will be returning to action on August 6, 35 days after submitting Ryan Bader on July 2.
The opponent likely made no difference for Evans, who was just eager to get back in the cage after being out of action since May 2010, when he defeated Quinton Jackson. Evans had the chance to fight last fall but declined in order to wait for his promised title fight and then when he was scheduled to face then UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua in March, Evans had to bow out of the fight with an injury. Now Evans looks to get back in the title picture with a win in August.
*PHOTO CREDIT – UFC*