Tito Ortiz to Face Matt Hamill at UFC 121

The "Iceman" may want a third crack at him, and rumors of a Forrest Griffin trilogy have also made the rounds, but Tito Ortiz will have a fresh matchup when he next steps inside the octagon.

A source with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting that "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" will face Matt Hamill at UFC 121, and UFC President Dana White subsequently confirmed the matchup in a text message.

Ortiz (15-7-1) recently starred in season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter, and was paired off with Chuck Liddell as rival coaches. The season was to end in a third fight between the two until Ortiz pulled out of the bout with a neck injury that required surgery.



Ortiz has not won a fight since Oct. 2006, when he TKO'd Ken Shamrock. Since then, he's 0-3-1, though all four bouts were contested against men who have held the UFC light-heavyweight championship at some point of their careers: Liddell, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida and Forrest Griffin.

Himself a former 205-pound champ, Ortiz had hoped to get his long-awaited third crack at Liddell, who beat him in two previous encounters, but that fight appears unlikely ever to happen. Liddell suffered a knockout loss at the hands of Rich Franklin at UFC 115, and afterward, White vowed never to let Liddell fight again in the octagon.

Hamill (9-2) is the winner of four straight fights in the UFC, most recently earning a majority decision over Keith Jardine last month. In his one previous bout against a former UFC champ, Hamill suffered a third-round TKO at the hands of Franklin. It remains the only time he's been finished in his career.

Ironically, Hamill started his UFC career on season three of The Ultimate Fighter, with Ortiz as his coach.

Though known for his wrestling pedigree as a three-time Division III NCAA wrestling champ, Hamill has favored a striking-heavy arsenal in recent fights.

UFC 121 takes place on Oct. 23 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and features a main event pitting UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar against No. 1 contender Cain Velasquez.
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