Lyoto Machida initially agreed to replace an injured Phil Davis and rematch Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 133, but the matchup was scrapped by UFC President Dana White after Machida requested “Anderson Silva money” to fight on short notice at the Aug. 6 event in Philadelphia.
Instead, Tito Ortiz, who originally turned down his own rematch with Evans citing his July 2 win over Ryan Bader and personal issues, reconsidered and accepted the bout with no demands for extra money.
Vladimir Matyushenko, who faces Alexander Gustafsson on the UFC 133 prelims, was the UFC’s third option, but wasn’t needed after Evans vs. Ortiz was confirmed yesterday. Middleweights Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen approached the UFC about moving up to fight Evans, but were promptly turned down.
Evans (15-1-1) and Ortiz (16-8-1) fought to a unanimous draw in their first meeting in 2007 after Ortiz lost a point for repeatedly grabbing the fence. The bout was the closest Ortiz came to a victory until ending his five year winless streak against Bader, while Evans would go on to win the light heavyweight title, lose the belt to Machida in his next fight, and rebound with wins over Thiago Silva and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
White said Thursday during a media conference call that Davis wanted to fight despite a knee injury that would keep him from training fully for more than two weeks, while Machida’s negotiations wouldn’t be held against him in the future.
“People lose their minds sometimes,” White said.
Pictured: Lyoto Machida