UFC 106 was originally scheduled to feature Lesnar vs. Carwin but Lesnar was forced to pull out because of a possible career ending illness and the UFC was forced to come up with a new main event to keep interested alive in the event. They decided to move Tito Ortiz to the main event but switched out Mark Coleman for Forrest Griffin. The move set up a rematch of UFC 59 that Ortiz won through a controversial split decision. It was the first loss for Griffin in the Octagon but the fight gave him confidence that he could fight with the best.
The fight was a back and forth affair that saw Tito take Griffin to the mat in the first round and put his ground-and-pound expertise to work on the resilient Griffin. Although some could make an argument that the fight could have been stopped during that flurry of punches, the badly bloody Griffin survived and regrouped in between rounds. The next two rounds saw Forrest stuff take down after take attempt disheartening Tito. Griffin took advantage and landed punch after punch. The fight had the crowd cheering wildly and went to the scorecards. Ortiz cheered emphatically as the verdict was rendered. Many in the crowd booed the decision loudly and after three years, UFC fans will finally get the rematch they’ve longed for.
Both fighters are coming off losses and are in pivotal points in their career. Both fighters are in desperation mode and need wins to once again solidify their status as elite level fighters. Forrest Griffin is coming off an embarrassing knockout loss to the middleweight champion, Anderson Silva and in doing so suffered his first back-to-back loss of his career. Tito has not fought in a year and a half and is coming off back surgery. His last action in the Octagon was against the light heavyweight champ, Lyoto Machida. Lyoto picked Tito apart and dominated the fight until the final minute when Ortiz slapped a triangle-choke on Machida and nearly submitted him. Does the former light heavyweight king, Tito Ortiz have what it takes to once again climb to the top of the division? A win tonight would put him well on his way to a title shot.
The winner of this fight will be the hungrier fighter. Who wants it more? Will the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz’s desire to reign atop the light division carry him to a win or will the bad taste left in the mouth of Forrest Griffin be the force that leads him to a much needed win? We will find out tonight at 9 pm/central on pay-per-view.