by Adam Lawman
The Ultimate Fighting Championship confirmed their trip to Seattle for the 24th installment of the UFC Fight Night Live series today. The event is scheduled for March 26 and will take place at Key Arena, former home of the NBA’s now defunct Seattle SuperSonics. Spike TV will broadcast the main card and with the recent developments in the UFC’s online campaign there should most likely be a stream on UFC.com or Facebook for preliminary fights.
The main event is a bout that could be the co-main event for an actual pay per view card as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz fights to remain relevant at this level of the sport while he also fights to remain conscious against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. UFC president Dana White has gone on the record to the media saying that Ortiz is on his last leg with the promotion and that a boring or one-sided loss could force the iconic fighter’s dismissal. It could be a real threat or a ratings ploy, or considering the two we’re discussing maybe both. Still, the attraction will be that this could possibly be the final UFC fight for Tito Ortiz. It’s something I would hate to see as I respect Ortiz’s legacy in the game, but if we face the facts the man is 0-4 with 1 draw in his last five bouts. It does go to note however that the fights were against Chuck Liddell, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Forrest Griffin and Matt Hamill but his last two wins were back to back TKO’s of Ken Shamrock in 2006. The truth is that Ortiz’s prestige is not what it used to be when he was the UFC light heavyweight champion. However, he was a champion and an instrumental part of the UFC’s initial explosion into the mainstream market so maybe he has earned the right to say if he stays or goes as long as he is still committed.
Either way, you can find out by turning on Spike on the evening of Saturday, March 26.
Also confirmed today for the card to appear before Ortiz and Nogueira have at it is the return of over-sized welterweight Anthony Johnson as he does battle against Dan Hardy who was last seen being put down for a short nap by Carlos Condit. I don’t see this fight going a full fifteen minutes. Someone will most likely wake up looking towards the rafters of Key Arena.
The UFC also announced the rematch between Leornard Garcia and Nam Phan will be taking place on the card. If I remember correctly, Strikeforce had some issues with the officiating done by Washington’s athletic commission during a Challengers card so hopefully this isn’t setting up further resurgence of frothing anger towards judges views of Garcia’s fighting style, but it will unless someone ends it before the end of round three.
The last confirmed bout today was Duane “Bang” Ludwig versus former “TUF” cast member Amir Sadollah in what should be a pretty violent welterweight fight.
Tickets are set to go on sale on January 29th and more bouts will be announced later.
This is the rumored card as it stands per MMAJunkie.com:
- Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Tito Ortiz
- Dan Hardy vs. Anthony Johnson
- Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan
- Duane Ludwig vs. Amir Sadollah
- John Hathaway vs. Kris McCray
- Jon Madsen vs. Mike Russow
- Mario Miranda vs. Aaron Simpson
- Sean McCorkle vs. Christian Morecraft
- Michael McDonald vs. Nick Pace
- Dennis Hallman vs. T.J. Waldburger
- Alex Caceres vs. Mackens Semerzier