• UFC 133

Victory for Ortiz won't earn title shot - White

ESPN staff
August 5, 2011
Tito Ortiz will move into the top four of the UFC's light-heavyweight division if he beats Rashad Evans © Getty Images

Tito Ortiz is highly unlikely to get the next UFC light-heavyweight title shot even if he beats Rashad Evans this weekend.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the position ahead of Saturday's UFC 133 main event, which sees Ortiz take on the 205lb No. 1 contender in Evans. The only reason Suga Rashad has been made to wait for his own crack at champion Jon Jones is due to injury.

Logically, Ortiz realistically has no claim to a title shot, even if he does beat Evans on August 6. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy has only just snapped a five-year wait for a win, and has only beaten Ryan Bader in his last six fights.

However, he is the most dominant light-heavyweight champion in the promotion's history, and victory over Bader was emphatic. A similar win over the No. 1 contender would add credence to claims he should fight Jones after Rampage Jackson gets his chance at UFC 135.

White sees things differently though, predicting Ortiz may need to win as many as two more fights before thinking about going after the belt.

"I think if Tito should win on Saturday night he's probably got one or two guys he's got to knock off before he gets a title shot," White was quoted as saying in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"If Tito goes in and beats Rashad like he did Ryan Bader, it would be pretty tough to deny that Tito is not one of the top four guys in the world."

White most probably has Lyoto Machida in mind as one of the men Ortiz would have to beat. Tito lost the pair's first bout, but locked on a late submission that almost snatched victory in an intriguing fight.

Dan Henderson, the Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, may also enter the reckoning after White confessed on Thursday that he will "try to figure out" a way to get Hendo back in the UFC.

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