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Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira rumored for March 19 event

Already headlined by a clash between respected light heavyweights, it appears as though another set of talented 205ers will be gracing a March 19 card the UFC has planned for Newark, New Jersey. Joining the previously announced pairing of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua defending his title against top contender Rashad Evans, Octagon-icon Tito Ortiz will attempt to right his teetering career against always-game opponent Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

The rumored match-up was reported by Canadian media outlet SportsNet who also broke word of the event’s occurrence.

Ortiz’s struggles as of late are well-documented in the media, as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has four losses and a draw in his last five fights without a win over anyone other than Ken Shamrock since the first half of 2006. However, the former light heavyweight champion appears to still have gas in his tank, as he nearly defeated Forrest Griffin in November 2009, though he ultimately lost by way of split-decision, and also went fifteen full minutes against Lyoto Machida with a near-submission at the end a little more than a year prior. Still, after the run of misfortune in the ring including a clear-cut point-based loss to Matt Hamill after a year off from action at UFC 121 in October, Ortiz still has questions to answer about his future in MMA

Enter Nogueira, a 19-4 PRIDE veteran with finishing performances against Luis Cane, Vlad Matyushenko, Dan Henderson, and Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem. He is 2-1 since signing with the UFC and will be looking to bounce back from a solid showing against undefeated 205-pound contender Ryan Bader last September in Indianapolis at UFC 119.

In addition to Nogueira vs. Ortiz, as well as the first defense of “Shogun” Rua’s run as light heavyweight champ, the card (labeled UFC 129) is also set to feature a lightweight match-up between New Jersey native Kurt Pellegrino and Gleison Tibau. Their forthcoming fight was announced by Pellegrino yesterday via Twitter.

  • This card is shaping up rather nicely….I hope lil nog is the final nail in the coffin that is the career of ortiz however Im scared that Tito’s takedown and play the elbow from the guard game is a good way to beat lil Nog….if Tito decides to stand I think his big head will hold up and Nog will win a decision. otherwise Im scared of him winning a split.

  • MCM says:

    Tito is tough as nails. I know people hate on him, but the only times he’s been finished in the last Decade was to a prime Chuck Liddell. I actually think this is Tito’s fight to loose. Lil’ Nog may be a BJJ black belt, but he’s not a ground wizard that can slap on a fight ending sub at any time. If Tito is smart, he’ll be able to put him on his back, stuff his sub attempts, and pound him out to either a UD of stoppage in the second.
    I’m not a big Tito fan,(4 losses in 4 years is not a record that should keep someone in the UFC), but this is a bad match up for Nog. I have a feeling Tito will get his hand raised for the first time in 5 yrs.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    Tito is garbage. he might be the worst LHW on the UFC’s roster at this point. no clue how he keeps getting fights.

  • danw84 says:

    Tito Ortiz, best P4P fighter on the planet!

  • Angry Mike says:

    I like this match up. A lot. Tito can be a tiresome twit, but it’s always fun to watch him. And little Nog is favorite from the glory days of Pride.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    It is not fun to watch Tito. He isn’t the least bit compelling anymore. I wish I thought Lil Nog had it in him to retire Ortiz but Im sure it will be a judge’s decision and a boring fight.

  • Dufresne says:

    I like this matchup.

    Initially I was thinking Lil’ Nog has this in the bag, but then I remembered how much trouble he had against Brilz. A guy I would say has weaker wrestling than even a fading Tito. Nog has the better hands and striking technique as well as the better BJJ, but Tito has a solid chin, decent wrestling, and more than enough cardio to make this a solid fight.


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