As reported over the weekend, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz will be forced to pull out of his upcoming main event bout with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at the KeyArena in Seattle, Wash. on Saturday, March 26. The organization confirmed that undefeated light heavyweight prospect Phil Davis will fill in for the injured Ortiz.
“Phil Davis is an absolute beast,” said UFC President Dana White. “He is undefeated at 8-0 and has gotten better every time he’s fought in the UFC. He jumped at this opportunity to take on a top 10 fighter and legend like Lil’ Nog. Phil is one of our best up-and-coming fighters and he’s excited to step up and take this fight.”
Davis was originally scheduled to face Matt Hamill at UFC 129, but Hamill was called up to replace Thiago Silva against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 130 in May. Davis was then expected to face Jason Brilz at UFC 129 in Hamill’s place.
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.
He now takes on the dynamic Phil Davis (8-0). Nicknamed “Mr. Wonderful,” the 26-year-old native Pennsylvanian has reeled off four consecutive wins to start his UFC career. The four-time All-American wrestler from Penn State University is coming off an impressive submission win over Tim Boetsch in his last fight in November. Considered one of the top rising stars in the UFC light heavyweight division, Davis faces the toughest test of his career when he meets Lil’ Nog in Seattle.
UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis is scheduled to take place this March 26th at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. The main card will be broadcast on Spike TV at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.