With all of the excitement over the past two days, UFC President Dana White has had a busy time trying to find a replacement for Phil ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Davis at next months UFC 133 card.
Davis had been scheduled to face Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 133, but was forced out do to injury. Finally on Wednesday evening, White was able to announce that Tito Ortiz was stepping up on short notice for a re-match with Evans at the Pittsburgh event.
Speaking to MMAjunkie.com about the whole ordeal, White explained how Lyoto Machida was the first to accept the bout, who then turned around to ask for too much money, and then how Ortiz eventually came around to take the fight.
“Machida accepted the fight,” White told MMAjunkie.com. “We knew for a couple days this was going down, and Machida accepted the fight. Then when we called back and said, ‘OK, we’re going to make this fight,’ Machida’s people came back and said, ‘We’ll tell you what. You pay us what you pay Anderson Silva, and we’ll take the fight.’ This was after they had already agreed to take the fight.
“I said, ‘Are you [expletive] kidding me? I’ll tell you what. You tell Machida he achieves what [expletive] Anderson Silva has achieved, then maybe he’ll make Anderson Silva money. Have a nice day.’”
Which is a different story than what surfaced earlier on Wednesday from Machida’s camp, with his manager-wife stating that there wasn’t enough time for Lyoto to prepare on three-and-a-half weeks.
White goes on to say he talked with Ortiz several times, letting the former champ know that he still hadn’t found a replacement. Eventually ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ called back to accept the re-match, which White says could put him back “in the mix” for a title shot should he win on Aug. 6.
“[Expletive] right, he gets a break,” White said. “Tito stepped up to the plate. It’s [expletive] weird here. It’s like I’m dealing with a new person. I like it. I like the new Tito.
“The storyline is what’s so interesting. Tito went from ‘You’re about to be cut,’ to now, if he beats Rashad Evans, he’s back in the mix. He’s back in the picture.”
Now Ortiz goes from having not won a fight in almost five years, to headlining a pay-per-view event against a fighter who hasn’t fought for over a year, and who he almost beat by decision if it wasn’t for a point deduction in their first fight at UFC 73.