It appears a former Ultimate Fighter coach will meet an Ultimate Fighter champion this summer when Tito Ortiz and Ryan Bader lock horns at UFC 132 in Las Vegas as part of the company’s annual Fourth of July Weekend event.
The two men had initially hinted at an in-ring encounter through brief exchanges of online trash-talk with news of the bout being confirmed with sources close to the match-up by MMAWeekly.
Though both light heavyweights are coming off losses they are each at very different points in their careers. The 15-8-1 Ortiz hasn’t tasted victory since October 2006 with four losses and a draw in his last five fights. However, he has also gone the distance against a trio of former 205-pound champs during the stretch including Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, and Lyoto Machida, and only recently claimed to be 100% healthy after dealing with chronic back/neck injuries.
Comparably, Bader’s defeat marked the first of his career and came against current title-holder Jon Jones. The second-round submission at UFC 126 broke a twelve-fight winning streak for the Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner including victories over Keith Jardine and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Other fights announced for the July 2 card thus far include a headlining rematch between Jon Fitch and B.J. Penn as well as three tilts featuring notable lightweights in the form of Matt Wiman vs. Dennis Siver, Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller, and George Sotiropoulos vs. Evan Dunham.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC