Now it's official. UFC President Dana White took to Twitter today to confirm the new opponent for Rashad Evans at UFC 133. Despite speculation and some reports former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida would fill in for the injured Phil Davis, it turns out that is not true. Here's White's Tweet:
Get ready philly for Rashad Evans vs Tito Ortiz!!! Aug 6th LIVE on PPV at the Wells Fargo Center!!!!!!
This is an excellent move by the UFC. Evans did not stand a good chance of beating Machida. Had he lost, that would've ruined a potential blockbuster fight between Evans and bitter rival UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Moreover, Evans vs. Ortiz is a rematch (they first fought at UFC 73 in July of 2007), even with some controversy. While the fight was declared a draw, most observers believed Ortiz would've been the rightful winner had he not been deducted a point for grabbing the fence to avoid takedowns.
Ortiz, coming off of a major win over Ryan Bader, is still grappling with damage to his brand despite the important recent win. Still, Evans and Ortiz will likely do everything in their promotional power to hype the event. Given the storylines and Ortiz's superior star power relative to Davis, this is arguably a better main event in terms of pay-per-view and ticket sales are concerned.