A UFCJunkie.com report indicates the match between Tito Ortiz (15-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) and Rashad Evans (10-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will no longer be happening at UFC 71 and will instead be moved to UFC 73. This makes UFC 73 looked like an absolutely stacked card with two rumored title defenses as well as this match while leaving much of UFC 71 in doubt
Initially rumored as a match between Ortiz and Keith Jardine, this match should be a good show as the undefeated Evans faces a fan favorite and “face” of MMA in Ortiz. Ortiz last fought against light-heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell losing in the third round via TKO.
Evans was the winner of the second season of The Ultimate Fighter and has since gone undefeated in the UFC while rising in the light heavyweight rankings. He posted wins over Brad Imes, Sam Hoger, Stephan Bonnar, Jason Lambert, and most recently over Sean Salmon at UFC Fight Night 8 in January.
With the move of this fight UFC 71 looks depleted of a guaranteed main event. Currently Chuck Liddell is fighting pnemonia and his status for the rumored fight against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is in question. It will be interesting to see if we get any rumors in the coming weeks of more big events for UFC 71 or at least a confirmation of Liddell’s title defense at the event.
Here are the rumored cards for UFC 71 and 73 with this announcement:
UFC 71 – May 26th
Chuck Liddell vs. Quinton Jackson
Keith Jardine vs. TBD
Karo Parisyan vs. Josh Burkman
Ivan Salaverry vs. Terry Martin
Chris Leben vs. Kalib Starnes
Eric Schafer vs. Sean Salmon
UFC 73 -July 7th
Anderson Silva vs. Nate Marquardt
Sean Sherk vs. Hermes Franca
Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans
Jorge Gurgel (?) vs. TBD