Once and For All
by Elliot Olshansky December 09, 2011 at 12:00AM | Views: 732
As UFC 140 nears, much has been made of the impending rematch between Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who met for the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship in December 2008.
Almost as intriguing, however, are two other fights on the card that were made, if not fought, once before.
It's true that Tito Ortiz has never fought Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and that Krzysztof Soszynski has yet to do battle with Igor Pokrajac. That's only because plans don't always work out.
In late March, Ortiz was due to meet Nogueira, but he suffered a concussion in training, along with a cut above his eye, and was forced to withdraw from the bout. That left Nogueira to face Phil Davis, who went on to a unanimous decision victory and is on a rise in the UFC's ultra-competitive light heavyweight division.
Soszynski was on the other side of a similar situation. He was due to meet Pokrajac, who stepped up for an injured Anthony Perosh. That was until Pokrajac was forced to bow out of the bout with an injury. That left Soszynski to face Mike Massenzio, and "K-Sos" cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
Now, with UFC 140 just a day away, all four fighters will all step into the Octagon on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
For Ortiz, the months that have passed between March and December have made a world of difference. Shelving his longtime moniker of the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" for "The People's Champ," Ortiz saved his career by all accounts when he pulled off a stunning submission of Ryan Bader. He followed that up by stepping in on three weeks notice to deliver a Fight of the Night performance against Rashad Evans. That recent stretch appears to have injected a bit of new life into his career. On the other hand, Nogueira is on a two-fight losing streak and at 2-2 in the UFC, he may well be fighting for his career on Saturday night.
What do you think will happen on Saturday night when "The People's Champ" takes on Little Nog and "The Polish Experiment" battles Igor Pokrajac? Will either bout go down differently than it might have when originally scheduled earlier this year? What do you think about the prospect of Krzysztof Soszynski as TUF 8's most successful alumnus? Where does the revitalization of Tito Ortiz's career rank among the biggest MMA stories of 2011. Leave your thoughts below.
Photo Credit: Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/ Getty Images