After rising light heavyweight contender Phil Davis was forced off the main event at UFC 133 against former champion Rashad Evans with a knee injury, the promotion was forced to scramble and find a new opponent.

Initially, the fight was offered to Tito Ortiz, fresh off a first round submission win over Ryan Bader at UFC 132.  Although he was largely unscathed in the bout, Ortiz chose to decline the bout, citing a need to make the right choices for his career.

Following Ortiz’s decision, the UFC brass then approached Brazilian Lyoto Machida about the prospect of fighting Evans again.  Machida handed Evans his first defeat at UFC 98, knocking out the champion and taking his light heavyweight belt.  Despite numerous reports that he had accepted the bout, Machida also turned down the fight, citing the three week timeframe as too short to adequately prepare.

With few (if any) options, the UFC again approached Ortiz about the headlining slot.  Despite the initial reluctance, Ortiz agreed to the fight, emphatically tweeting “Only for the UFC!”  UFC President Dana White confirmed the news on his Twitter account just moments later.

The bout marks an opportunity for a complete career resurrection for Ortiz.  After going winless for nearly five years, a victory over Evans could put “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” back in the title mix.  The pair previously fought at UFC 73, resulting in a unanimous draw after Ortiz was deducted a point in the second round for repeatedly grasping the cage.

UFC 133 takes place on Aug. 6 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Photo: Tito Ortiz reacts to his submission victory over Ryan Bader at UFC 132 (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)