The UFC officially announced today that “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz will battle Antonio Rogerio Nogueirato return in the main event of UFC Fight Night 24 from the KeyArena in Seattle, Wash. on Saturday, March 26.
“This is a must-win fight for Tito Ortiz,” UFC President Dana White said. “Everyone knows that Tito and I have had a rocky relationship, but he’s been with us since we started this company and we’re on good terms now. This is the biggest fight of his career. ‘Lil Nog’ is ranked in the top 10 in the world and a win puts Tito back in the mix.”
In addition to the main event, the UFC also confirmed two volatile welterweight collisions pitting Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs. Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy and Duane “Bang” Ludwig vs. Amir Sadollah, as well as the highly-anticipated rematch between featherweights Nam Phan and Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia.
Once one of the most dominant light heavyweight champions of all-time, Tito Ortiz finds himself in a must-win situation on March 26 in Seattle. Having made a name for himself with victories over the likes of Forrest Griffin, Vitor Belfort, Ken Shamrock and the late Evan Tanner, the charismatic Ortiz is gearing up for the most pivotal fight of his career.
“I’m ready to get back in there and kick some ass,” Ortiz, who will be in Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 27 for a media day, said. “‘Lil Nog’ is one of the best fighters in the world. He’s dangerous on the feet and on the ground; that’s why you won’t hear me talking any smack. I have a lot of respect for him and I can’t wait to get back in there and give the fans in Seattle a great show.”
A feared Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt and former Pan American Games bronze medalist in boxing, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira possesses one of the most dangerous arsenals in all of mixed martial arts. Since launching his career in Japan in 2001, “Lil Nog” has scored wins over Alistair Overeem, Dan Henderson and Vladimir Matyushenko. Nogueira, whose twin brother “Minotauro” is a top contender in the UFC heavyweight division, has since made an immediate impact in the UFC with wins over Luiz Cane and Jason Brilz. The 34-year-old realizes that a victory over Ortiz would go a long way toward his ultimate goal of wearing a UFC title.
“Tito Ortiz is a former champion and I’m excited to get the chance to fight him in the main event in Seattle,” Nogueira said. “I’m training hard and expect a difficult fight. Tito’s ground and pound is really good and he is a talented athlete. This should be a great fight for the fans.”
UFC Fight Night Live also features the explosive welterweight contest pitting Anthony Johnson against Dan Hardy. The fight will feature two competitors who like to trade leather, as Johnson has won three out of his last four by knockout, while Hardy has engaged in standup wars with the likes of Mike Swick and Marcus Davis in recent outings.
Another 170-pound fight matches heavy-handed Duane Ludwig with The Ultimate Fighter 7 winner Amir Sadollah. A product of Grudge Training Center in Denver, Ludwig is a tested veteran who trains alongside the likes of UFC stars Shane Carwin and Brendan Schaub. He’ll be in for a stern test when he meets the scrappy Sadollah, a balanced Muay Thai striker who likes to push the pace of a fight.
The highly-anticipated rematch between featherweights Leonard Garcia and Nam Phan will also take place on March 26 in Seattle. The duo put on an incredible display in their first bout in December, with Garcia taking home a controversial split decision victory. Phan looks to settle the score when he meets the “Bad Boy” at KeyArena.
Additional fights for the card will be announced at a later date. Tickets for the event will go on sale Saturday, Jan. 29 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at the KeyArena Box Office, Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone toll free at (800) 745-3000. All tickets subject to applicable service charges and fees.
UFC Fight Club members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. PT via the website ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers on Friday, Jan. 28 starting at 10 a.m. PT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through ufc.com.
The event will be broadcast on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.