Tito Ortiz (top) | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship today confirmed a trio of contests for UFC Fight Night 24, including the long-rumored main event between Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
A pair of welterweight bouts -- former title challenger Dan Hardy against up-and-comer Anthony Johnson, and veteran striker Duane Ludwig against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 winner Amir Sadollah -- were also made official for the event, which takes place March 26 at KeyArena in Seattle and will be broadcast live on Spike TV.
The additions come one week after the promotion formally announced the show, its first ever in Seattle. Previously added to the card was a rematch between featherweights Leonard Garcia and Nam Phan, whose first meeting in December ended in a controversial split decision for Garcia.
A former UFC light heavyweight champion and one of the sport’s best-known competitors, Ortiz enters the bout on a five-fight winless kick, which stretches back to 2006. The 35-year-old “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” most recently lost a unanimous decision to former “TUF 3” pupil Matt Hamill at UFC 121. Ortiz will look to reestablish himself against a tough opponent in “Little Nog,” who had a seven-fight win streak snapped by Ryan Bader in September.
Similarly seeking to rebound is Hardy, who dropped back-to-back outings in 2010. After being dominated by champion Georges St. Pierre for five rounds in March, the English “Outlaw” was knocked out cold by Carlos Condit in October. Johnson, meanwhile, has not competed since his November 2009 loss to Josh Koscheck, owing to a nagging knee injury and surgery thereon. “Rumble” has fought eight of his 11 career bouts inside the Octagon, amassing a 5-3 UFC record, with all five wins coming by way of knockout.
No stranger to injury, Ludwig in November returned from an eight-month hiatus, brought on by a badly broken ankle. In his return, “Bang” took a split decision over Nick Osipczak to halt a two-fight skid. The 10-year veteran of the sport holds a career mark of 20-11 -- more than five times more fights than his opponent, Sadollah, who comes in at 4-2 and has spent his entire professional MMA career in the UFC. Despite his nascent state, Sadollah has defeated more experienced fighters such as Phil Baroni and Brad Blackburn.