It is confirmed that Mark “The Hammer” Coleman has suffered a second degree MCL tear and has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 106 bout with Tito Ortiz. Coleman suggested moving the bout back to UFC 108 on January 2, but that is not likely. So who will step in and face Ortiz? Hint: It won’t be Kimbo.
There are many fans that are throwing out all sorts of names, but people must remember that this is Tito’s comeback fight. He will not face a huge threat. Mark Coleman was the perfect opponent because he is good, but not elite. In other words he is very beatable and the UFC does not lose a contender if Coleman loses. There are several bouts that would make good fights. Let’s break down the available fighters and see who is likely.
Stephan Bonnar – Very possible, but Bonnar needs a fight he can win. The UFC will want a guy who can lose easily or who is disposable. Bonnar is not really.
Houston Alexander – Too heavy handed
Jason Brilz – A very good wrestler and this one is possible, but probably does not have the name recognition to get this fight.
Steve Cantwell – This may be a good fight down the road, but Cantwell is a real threat to Ortiz.
Forrest Griffin – Forrest needs a win. He could beat Ortiz, but that would foil Ortiz’s comeback. Would be a good re-match, but again maybe this one would be good down the road.
Keith Jardine – Another dangerous guy in need of a win to stay in the UFC. This one could happen, but I do not know if Ortiz wants a top tiered guy yet.
Eliot Marshall – Not a big enough name in the sport.
Vladimir Matyushenko – A very good possibility. He is a top 25 guy in the world. Ortiz owns a win over him in 2001. He is older, but very good.
Krzysztof Soszynski – Another possibility. The Polish Experiment does not mind stepping in late notice. He could be a good opponent who Ortiz can beat, but be exciting.
Brian Stann – Rumored to be facing Rodney Wallace in December
The other options are a new signing to debut against Ortiz and a middleweight moving up to 205 to face him. Let me throw a few more names out there…
1. Vladimir Matyushenko
2. Seth Petruzelli
3. Krzysztof Soszynski