The fight is a rematch of an April 2006 contest, which Ortiz (15-6) won in a tight split-decision.
Coleman was forced to withdraw from the bout just days ago, leaving the UFC scrambling for a replacement. Griffin (16-6), like Ortiz a former light-heavyweight champion, should be considered by most a worthy choice.
The popular fighter and New York Times bestselling author most recently competed at UFC 101 in August, where he suffered a first-round knockout at the hands of Anderson Silva. He is currently entrenched in the first two-fight losing streak of his career.
Ortiz, meanwhile, is coming off some problems of his own.
He is returning after 18 months away due to back surgery and rehabilitation. After his last fight, a May 2008 decision loss to Lyoto Machida, it was assumed his UFC career was over due to a very public feud with White, but the two patched up their differences shortly after UFC 100, leading to the former UFC light-heavyweight champion's return.
Ortiz has not won a fight since defeating Ken Shamrock in Oct. 2006, going 0-2-1 in his last three bouts. He has consistently told reporters that he was fighting at well below maximum capacity because of his back problems, and that his recent surgery has him feeling better than he has in years.
The addition of the matchup between the fan-favorite Griffin and notorious Ortiz can only help a card that is expected to be one of the biggest of the year for the UFC. The event will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 21 and features a heavyweight title main event between champion Brock Lesnar and challenger Shane Carwin.