On Saturday, November 21, 2009 the UFC returns to Sin City with UFC 106 - Ortiz vs. Griffin 2. This is the first event the UFC has hosted in its hometown, since its historic UFC 100 event in July. The event will take place at the same venue as its century-mark event, which is the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event of the evening in which the event is titled after will feature a light-heavyweight rematch between two of the biggest names and personalities in MMA, as former light-heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin engage in a highly-anticipated rematch from their April 2006 encounter at UFC 59. UFC 106 will also feature a top-tier welterweight showdown between Josh Koscheck and Anthony Johnson. The main card of UFC 106 will air live on PPV at 7 p.m. PST / 10 p.m. EST. Prior to the main event on PPV, two preliminary bouts will air live on Spike starting at 6 p.m. PST / 9 p.m. EST. The two bouts that will air on Spike are Kendall Grove vs. Jake Rosholt and Ben Saunders vs. Marcus Davis.
A lot has happened in the lives and careers of Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin, since they last met in the Octagon on April 15, 2006 at UFC 59 - Reality Check. That night, Ortiz started out strong before Griffin turned it up in the later rounds in what many felt earned him the win. However, two of the three judges awarded the fight in favor of Ortiz, giving him the Split Decision. Ortiz immediately went on to coach TUF 3, which concluded with his second and third victories over Ken Shamrock after the show. Ortiz then closed out 2006 by losing via TKO in a rematch to Chuck Liddell in an attempt to reclaim the UFC light-heavyweight title. In 2007, Ortiz would only fight once at UFC 73 against Rashad Evans. Ortiz would have won the fight, but was penalized a point for grabbing the fence and the bout resulted in a draw.
The rocky relationship between Ortiz and UFC president Dana White, which has included a tentative boxing exhibition that never came to fruition and regular media jousting between the two, would only increase after his draw with Evans. In May 2008, Ortiz would go on to fight the undefeated Lyoto Machida at UFC 84 in what would be the last fight on his former contract and his most recent fight to date. Ortiz ended up losing a Unanimous Decision to Machida and parted ways with the UFC citing frustration with White, who used to be his former manager before Zuffa acquired the UFC. In the year and a half that Ortiz has been out of action, he has flirted with various upstart MMA promotions, including the now defunct EliteXC and Affliction promotions. In his personal life, he also become a father after having twins with his girlfriend Jenna Jameson and then last month he was in the wedding party for his longtime friend and training partner "Razor" Rob McCullough, who got married to Lexxi Tyler.
His opponent on Saturday night happens to be someone who is also familiar with wedding bells. In September, Griffin tied the knot with his longtime fiancé Jaime. This was a month after a bout in which he is hoping to put behind him for good. At UFC 101 in August, Griffin lost badly via KO to pound-for-pound kingpin Anderson Silva. This was just 8 months after he had relinquished his UFC light-heavyweight title to Rashad Evans at UFC 92. Before those two bouts, however, the Octagon was a much happier place for Griffin, who had risen to star status after defeating Stephan Bonnar in the season finale of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter in what many consider the most memorable bout in the sport's history.
Before losing his title to Evans last December, Griffin had also strung together a pair of victories over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, who were both considered the #1 ranked fighter in the division at the time Griffin defeated them. This is the first time someone had achieved such a feat in the stacked 205-pound division. The submission win over Shogun, earned Griffin a title shot against Rampage, which included coaching opposite of him on The Ultimate Fighter 7. Griffin would go on to defeat Rampage via Unanimous Decision, which made him the UFC light-heavyweight champion. This is one of the many factors that led to Griffin accepting a rematch with Ortiz on short-notice last month after Mark Coleman was injured. Griffin cut agreed to take the fight, thus cutting his honeymoon short and drove back to Las Vegas to begin training. Needless to say, a lot is on the line both emotionally and professionally, as Ortiz and Griffin get set to lock horns for a second time in a quest to position themselves for another shot at the light-heavyweight title. A title they have both held and a title they both hope to get closer to with a win on Saturday night.
-Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz (Light-Heavyweight Bout)
-Josh Koscheck vs. Anthony Johnson (Welterweight Bout)
-Paulo Thiago vs. Jacob Volkmann (Welterweight Bout)
-Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Luiz Arthur Cane (Light-Heavyweight Bout)
-Amir Sadollah vs. Phil Baroni (Welterweight Bout)
-Ben Saunders vs. Marcus Davis (Welterweight Bout)
-Kendall Grove vs. Jake Rosholt (Middleweight Bout)
-Brock Larson vs. Brian Foster (Welterweight Bout)
-Caol Uno vs. Fabricio Camoes (Lightweight Bout)
-George Sotiropoulos vs. Jason Dent (Lightweight Bout)