Tito Ortiz Races For Charity

By Jeff Cain

Former UFC light heavyweight titleholder Tito Ortiz will race through the streets of Long Beach on April 16 to raise money for charity.

Oritz is entered in the 35th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity race and will be donated the proceeds to “Racing for Kids” with the money going to the Miller’s Children Hospital in Long Beach and Orange County.

“We got in touch with them last year about doing it,” said Ortiz. “I was recovering (from neck surgery) about this time last year, so I wasn’t able to get in a car, but I’ve always been a huge fan of it. I’ve always wanted to do it, so it was an opportunity that came around again and I’ll be doing it.”

“I’m always giving back to our youth. It’s something that I’ve always done,” Ortiz told Heavy.com. “It’s always about giving back to the children.”

Ortiz hasn’t raced before, but has been a long time fan of racing, particularly Formula 1.

 

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Hardy v Johnson is like Superman v Batman – Zelaznik

By ESPN

Marshall Zelaznik labelled Dan Hardy‘s forthcoming clash with Anthony Johnson a “ridiculous fight”, claiming we are about to see what Hardy is “really made of”.

Hardy and Johnson collide in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 24, headlined by a light-heavyweight encounter between Phil Davis and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

For the Briton it is the chance to bounce back from a knockout loss to Carlos Condit, and Zelaznik admits it never ceases to amaze him how willing the UFC‘s fighters are to head straight back into blockbuster contests.

“Dan Hardy has a big, big fight with Anthony Johnson. It’s a ridiculous fight. We’re going to see where the cream rises, If it was boxing Hardy would be looking at a couple of nice comeback fights to get him going after the Carlos Condit loss, but we’re going to see what he’s really made of.” the UFC chief told ESPN.

 

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Tito Ortiz is on the mend, but takes time to call out Forrest Griffin.

By Jeff Cain

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was scheduled to fight in the main event of UFC Fight Night 24 in Seattle on March 26 against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, but a cut and concussion suffered in training forced him out of the bout.

It was supposed to be his opportunity to prove he is still a force in the 205-pound division, but that door closed the moment the cut opened up.

“When I had to pull out of this fight because of the stitches in my face and my concussion, I was really, really bummed,” Ortiz told Heavy.com on Tuesday. “I had put in three months of hard training in this. Taking three weeks to not spar and not wrestle wasn’t something I was able to do against Rogerio Nogueira. I had to pull out, but it sucked.”

“Nogueira is a tough, tough opponent, and I can’t come at him at 80 percent. I have to make sure I’m 100 percent. I’ve fought so many guys before not 100 percent, and I’m just not going to take that chance anymore,” added Ortiz.

The 36-year old fighter is on the mend, but expects to be back to hard training “in a couple of weeks.”

“The concussion is almost, pretty much gone. Last night I did some pretty hard cardio, pushed myself hard enough that I threw up, so maybe the concussion’s not completely gone. I had a little bit of a headache still today. If I don’t push it, by the end of the week to the middle of next week I should be 100 percent as long as I don’t push myself too hard too fast,” he explained.

 

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A Mr. Wonderful Thing: Why Phil Davis Is Ready for Nogueira and Beyond

By Patrick Straub

The first thing you might notice about UFC light heavyweight Phil Davis is how broad he is from shoulder to shoulder.

A wrestler with a wingspan stretching to 79 inches, he’s packed in a physique that you immediately recognize as an athlete of a higher caliber. It’s a torso you’re more likely to see on an NFL running back than on a fighter, and Davis is one of the few in MMA who carry it.

I can recall Davis’ first fight with the UFC, an undercard bout, making it to the broadcast when he debuted with the organization at UFC 109.

He beat Brain Stann via unanimous decision. Nothing that’ll make you scour the web in hopes of finding a replay, but it was apparent that he was freakishly athletic, and more or less dominated Stann for all three rounds.

We saw him fight next when he quickly dispatched Alexander Gustafsson in Abu Dhabi at UFC 112. That fight made me a believer that Davis has “sky is the limit” potential, and I’ve since been convinced that this kid will go as far as his desire will carry him.

In just over a year of fighting under the UFC banner, 26-year-old Phil Davis has racked up four impressive victories at light heavyweight.  With an 8-0 overall record, and an attitude that is humble yet confident, Davis is faced with the opportunity to step into the upper echelon of light heavyweights when he steps into the cage to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night on March 26.

 

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Jason Brilz meets replacement Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC 129

By Dann Stupp

A light-heavyweight bout between Jason Brilz (18-3-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Vladimir Matyushenko (25-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is being finalized for April’s UFC 129 event in Toronto.

Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place and that bout agreements are being finalized.

Brilz initially was a replacement for Matt Hamill and expected to fight Phil Davis at the show. But Davis recently was pulled from the card and booked for a UFC Fight Night 24 headliner with Antonio Rogerio Nogueria.

UFC 129 takes place April 29 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre and has already broken box-office records for a North American MMA event with 55,000 tickets sold and a live-gate tally of approximately $11 million.

The night’s main card airs on pay-per-view, though it’s not clear if Brilz vs. Matyushenko will retain its spot on the televised lineup.

 

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Minotauro Nogueira: “My plan is to knock Phil Davis out”

By Erik Engelhart

Coming from a loss to Ryan Bader, Rogerio Nogueira would face the veteran and former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, on UFN 24, but the American had to leave the bout. The replacement for the fight, which happens on March 26th, is Phil Davis, who’s undefeated with eight fights on his professional record.

The sudden change of opponent wasn’t enough to keep awake the experienced Minotouro analyzed the replacement on a chat with TATAME. “My work’s done, man, the thing is to focus and train hard to face this new opponent. I still didn’t have the chance to watch many of his fights, but his game is similar to Tito Ortiz’s. I know he tends to use his kicks more, but his strong point also is Wrestling… The same background”, commented Rogerio, who revealed that he’ll make the difference on the bout.

 

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I’m more complete than Rampage – Hamill

By ESPN

Matt Hamill has labelled Quinton Rampage Jackson one-dimensional and his camp claims he will be an easier match-up than Phil Davis.

Jackson, a former UFC champion, was surprisingly handed the challenge of Hamill after a delay in the clearance of Thiago Silva‘s UFC 125 drug test results. Rashad Evans had initially been reported as Silva’s replacement for the UFC 130 bout, but the lesser revered Hamill is the man Jackson will face.

The bookmakers will have Rampage as the overwhelming favourite and, to the casual observer, it would seem Hamill is making a giant step into the big league.

However, previously-slated opponent Davis is a hugely athletic wrestler with an undefeated record, and Hamill claims it will be less difficult to figure out Jackson’s boxing offence.

“I’m just glad Rampage accepted the fight,” Hamill told MMAjunkie. “I had my doubts if he would or not. I’m glad he’s so motivated. He won’t have any excuses when I beat him. I will prove I belong in the title mix at 205.

“Rampage is an old-school brawler. I’m much more of a complete mixed martial artist. I have the heart to break his will, and I will make Rampage very uncomfortable in this fight.”

 

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