UFC president Dana White made the announcement Saturday afternoon on his Twitter feed. Ortiz-Nogueira was scheduled to headline the UFC's Fight Night 24 show in Seattle, the promotion's debut in that city.
Instead, Davis (8-0, 4-0 UFC) will get his first taste of a main event, stepping in for Ortiz, the former light heavyweight champion. White's announcement on Twitter said Ortiz needed stitches and was out of the bout. Ortiz confirmed the news in a Twitter post of his own Saturday afternoon, saying he needed 22 stitches and had suffered a concussion.
Ortiz (15-8-1, 14-8-1 UFC) perhaps sees his career take another setback. The former UFC light heavyweight champion, who defended his title five times between 2000-2003, has not won a fight in more than four years and has suffered through several injuries and surgeries, not to mention a highly publicized spat with White.
Ortiz last won at a special UFC Fight Night card for his trilogy with Ken Shamrock. He won by TKO in the first round, completing a 3-0 sweep of his heated rival. But since then, he lost a light heavyweight title fight to Chuck Liddell at UFC 66, had a draw with Rashad Evans at UFC 73 (Ortiz lost a point for grabbing the fence) and had lost three straight decisions to Lyoto Machida, Forrest Griffin and, most recently, Matt Hamill at UFC 121.
Davis was expected to face Matt Hamill at UFC 129 in Toronto in April. But when Hamill replaced Thiago Silva for a fight against Rampage Jackson at UFC 130, Davis was left without an opponent. Jason Brilz, who lost a controversial split decision to Nogueira at UFC 114, stepped in to face Davis. But now he, too, will await a replacement opponent.
Davis is coming off a Submission of the Night win over Tim Boetsch in November at UFC 123 in Detroit. The one-armed, modified kimura was perhaps the first ever seen in a live MMA bout, and Davis told Joe Rogan post-fight that it was called "The Mr. Wonderful," after his nickname.
The win over Boetsch made Davis 4-0 in 2010, all in the UFC, including a decision win over Brian Stann, a submission over Alexander Gustafsson and a decision over Rodney Wallace.
The Pennsylvania native was a Division I national champion wrestler at Penn State and a four-time All-American.
Nogueira (19-4, 2-1 UFC), twin brother of Antonio Rodrigo, started his UFC career with a Knockout of the Night win over Luiz Cane and followed it up with his split decision win over Brilz. But at UFC 119 in September, he was dominated by Ryan Bader, who out-wrestled him with five takedowns en route to a 30-27 scorecard sweep.
In Nogueira's legendary Pride career, he holds two wins over current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem and a submission win over Dan Henderson.
UFC Fight Night 24 will take place at the Key Arena in Seattle on March 26. Besides the new bout between Davis and Nogueira, the main card features a welterweight bout between former top contender Dan Hardy and Anthony Johnson; a featherweight rematch between Nam Phan and Leonard Garcia; and a welterweight fight between "The Ultimate Fighter" winner Amir Sadollah and Duane Ludwig. The main card will air live on Spike TV.