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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Brilz-Matyushenko Official; UFC 129 Complete with 12 Bouts

By Mike Whitman

The dance card for UFC 129 “St. Pierre vs. Shields” is now full, as a light heavyweight scrap between Jason Brilz and Vladimir Matyushenko was today ratified by the promotion.

Twelve contests are now official for the event, which goes down April 30 at the Rogers Center in Toronto. The show will be headlined by a welterweight title tilt pitting reigning champ Georges St. Pierre against recent UFC acquisition Jake Shields. Co-headlining the event is newly-crowned featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who defends his strap against the red-hot Mark Hominick.

The main card, which also features Randy Couture taking on Lyoto Machida and Mark Bocek locking horns with Ben Henderson, will air live on pay-per-view. Meanwhile, undercard bouts pitting Nate Diaz against Rory MacDonald and Sean Pierson against Brian Foster will be broadcast live in North America on Spike TV one hour before the main card kicks off.

Brilz  was originally tapped for the event as a replacement for Matt Hamill against Phil Davis, with Hamill having been pulled from the show in order to meet Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 130. Davis was then pulled from the bout to step in for an injured Tito Ortiz against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 24 on March 26, leaving Brilz with no opponent until Matyushenko filled the spot two weeks ago.


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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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NSAC budget cuts eliminate out-of-competition drug testing; Kizer seeks alternatives

By Steven Marrocco

A budget crunch has left the Nevada State Athletic Commission unable to employ one of the most significant deterrents to the use of performance enhancing drugs in professional competition.

Two years after the influential regulatory body announced it would conduct out-of-competition drug testing, legislators have completely withdrawn funding for the program.

The NSAC will soon decide whether to press legislators on a proposal to reinstate testing, possibly by diverting funds within the commission’s budget.

“What we’re trying to do is find alternative sources of revenue,” NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

The NSAC began out-of-competition in the summer of 2008 after successfully petitioning the legislature to set aside money from the state’s general fund. The commission received $18,000 for the 2008-2009 fiscal year (July 2008 to June 2009) and conducted between 40 and 50 tests, according to Kizer.

UFC 84 main-event fighters B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk, as well as co-main event fighters Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz, were among the first to be tested in the new program. Machida and Rashad Evans were the last MMA headliners to be tested out of competition at UFC 98. None of the out-of-competition tests came back positive for performance enhancers or drugs of abuse.


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Healing from Broken Foot, Forrest Griffin Prepares for Title Climb

By Mike Chiappetta

Still self-deprecating despite a resume that boasts a UFC championship reign and New York Times bestseller status, Forrest Griffin readily admits that his recent win over Rich Franklin was no thing of beauty.

Griffin outpointed Franklin during the UFC 126 co-main event, using his size advantage to put Franklin on his back and work him over from the top position. For a guy who first gained his fame as a heart-on-his-sleeve brawler, it showed his continued maturity as a fighter, if not his willingness to risk losing for being a crowd-pleaser.

“It’s a win, and at that point I was thinking, ‘I’ll take anything I can get,'” Griffin told MMA Fighting in an exclusive interview.

The physical nature of MMA is such that despite a conservative game plan, Griffin did not emerge unscathed. The popular light-heavyweight broke his right foot during the bout, the second time he’s broken it in the last two years. He previously injured it in training for his Nov. 2009 bout with Tito Ortiz, but fought anyway and won.

This time, he’s planning to take the time to let it heal.


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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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