Rich Franklin to Face… Tito?

In what may be the strangest turn of events in recent UFC history, Tito Ortiz has signed to take Lil Nog’s place and fight Rich Franklin at UFC 133 in Philadelphia on August 6th.

“When I heard about Lil Nog’s injury, at first I kinda made the soft decision, thinking, you know, I did just fight Ryan Bader, as well as working on the expansion of my Punishment brand, including Punishment Nutrition, which really brings the punishment, if you know what I mean,” Ortiz said from his Huntington Beach home, “and, of course, I will be fighting in the bout immediately following Franklin’s, but then I reconsidered. This is what my fans want, and I’m in great shape, so why not?”

He is already signed to replace Phil Davis to fight Rashad Evans in the main event, so this brings up both safety and logistic concerns.

“It’s how the first UFC events were held: tournament style. If they could do it then, I can do it now. Besides, Nate Marquardt hooked me up with a good doctor who’s sure he can help me not just get through all six rounds, but really perform at a high level.”

As for what he’ll do after the Franklin bout between fights: “I’ll just stay in the ring, win or lose—and I’m not going to lose—and wait for Rashad to come in. One entrance, but I’ll have several t-shirts ready, so I’ll be changing my shirt several times between fights.”

Asked about this idea, Rashad Evans had this to say: “I’ve got a contract to fight Tito Ortiz August 6th in Philadelphia.”

And if Ortiz gets knocked out by Franklin before the Evans bout? ‘I’m ready to fight whatever Tito Ortiz they put in front of me. Look, he’s the third guy I’ve had to prepare for. Do you know how much tape there is on Tito Ortiz?!? At this point, I don’t care if his leg is broken and he’s hopping around the cage: I’m gonna fight him.”

When reached for comment, Dana White tweeted: “I love the new Tito Ortiz! Put the graphic back up!

Arrangements have been made to have Charlie Brenneman ringside to step in to face Rashad in case of injury to Tito.

 

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