The doom-and-gloom surrounding the UFC 133 fight card when Phil Davis pulled out of the main event just three weeks away from the show has quickly been replaced with joy and eager anticipation.
That's because after some initial turbulence, Tito Ortiz came around to accepting a rematch with Rashad Evans and suddenly the event looks like a pay-per-view (PPV) winner.
Really, everyone's a winner here, thanks to how happy UFC President Dana White is with the attitude of everyone not named Lyoto Machida.
On a special conference call today (get all the updates here), White proclaimed that Evans is definitely next in line for a title shot if he leaves Philadelphia on Aug. 6 victorious. Ortiz, meanwhile, will still have some work to do.
Check it out:
"There's no doubt that Rashad is next in line. He turned down a fight that he should have taken 1 1/2 years ago and he's had a horrible streak of luck since. Every opponent he's had has been injured. He's been training for this fight and we couldn't pull him out."
After all this time and one insane roller coaster outside of the Octagon, Evans is finally ready to put his professional considerations to the side and just fight.
Music to White's ears.
So was the decision made by Ortiz to reconsider his initial denial of the fight and step in on short notice in a mega-main event just one month removed from a career-defining win over Ryan Bader at UFC 132.
In fact, White goes so far as to say that if Tito wins, he may not be in line for a title shot but he'll be in the top three:
"If Tito beats Rashad, he'll have beaten a top 10 guy in Bader and then the number one contender. He'd definitely be in the mix. I wouldn't say he'd be number one contender but he'd be top three."
Tito Ortiz, just one fight removed from potentially losing his job with a loss, is on the verge of possibly breaking into the top three of the light heavyweight division.
Could it really be? It just might.
Do you agree with Dana that a title shot should await Rashad with a win? And is Tito really a top three 205-pound fighter if he defeats Evans?