Antonio Rogerio Nogueira stands in the way of Tito Ortiz’s quest to return to the top of the UFC light heavyweight division. The two superstars will battle at 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.”
A feared Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and former Pan American Games bronze medalist in boxing, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-4) 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: Ortiz vs. Nogueira takes place on March 26, 2011 from the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. The event will be broadcast on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.