UFC Fight Night 24: Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Set For March 26

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UFC Fight Night 24: Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Set For March 26

The UFC is not going to rely on the UFC brand to sell UFC Fight Night 24 as they are putting together a big headlining fight for the show when Tito Ortiz steps into the cage against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The fight has been rumored for quite a while, but it was confirmed by the UFC today. Dana White added his thoughts on the importance of the fight to Ortiz's career via UFC.com:

"This is a must-win fight for Tito Ortiz," UFC President Dana White said. "Everyone knows that Tito and I have had a rocky relationship, but he’s been with us since we started this company and we’re on good terms now. This is the biggest fight of his career. ‘Lil Nog’ is ranked in the top 10 in the world and a win puts Tito back in the mix."

It's truly strange for long time MMA fans to think that the once dominant Ortiz has not had his hand raised following a match since October of 2006, going 0-4-1 since defeating Ken Shamrock in their third meeting. Dana White has probably never been more honest in his life than he is when he says that this fight is "must-win" for Tito as it's going to be pretty hard to justify his continued use if he drops another fight.

Ortiz, for his part, seems respectful of the challenge put in front of him:

"I’m ready to get back in there and kick some ass," Ortiz said. "‘Lil Nog’ is one of the best fighters in the world. He’s dangerous on the feet and on the ground; that’s why you won’t hear me talking any smack. I have a lot of respect for him and I can’t wait to get back in there and give the fans in Seattle a great show."

Nogueira had his seven fight win streak snapped at UFC 119 when Ryan Bader won a close (and mildly controversial) unanimous decision. Prior to that point Nogueira had established himself as one of the best 205 pound fighters in the world. He adds his thoughts on what the fight means:

"Tito Ortiz is a former champion and I’m excited to get the chance to fight him in the main event in Seattle," Nogueira said. "I’m training hard and expect a difficult fight. Tito’s ground and pound is really good and he is a talented athlete. This should be a great fight for the fans."

The co-main event will be a fight between Dan Hardy and Anthony Johnson.

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