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It's Official


by Josh Gross


It’s Official: Ortiz, Shamrock and Penn Return to UFC

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 19 — As first reported by on Friday, the UFC officially announced the return of Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock during Saturday’s UFC 56 pay-per-view broadcast.

Ortiz agreed to terms on a three-fight deal while Shamrock signed with the UFC Saturday. Both men will be coaches on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter, which his set to start production in January, Ortiz told Saturday evening.

According to Ortiz’s Web site,, the new deal covers three fights, the first of which would come in April against Forrest Griffin . October would bring a rematch between Ortiz and Shamrock. And the third bout on the contract could put him in line to regain the light heavyweight belt he lost to Randy Couture in September 2003.

The UFC also announced the return of B.J. Penn , who submitted Matt Hughes to win the welterweight title January 2004 but gave up the belt in an ugly fight with the UFC. In an ironic twist, Penn and the UFC were set to go to trial early next month, however, that case, along with one against Wesley Correira, was settled prior to tonight’s announcements, according to a release on the UFC Web site.

Standing inside the Octagon, UFC president Dana White started his laundry list of announcements by bringing together UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and former 205-pound champ Randy Couture . They will face off for a third time in early February.

White then asked deposed UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir to step into the cage. The UFC president indicated that in 2006 Mir would return to competition, which he’s been away from since the June 2004 fight where he broke Tim Sylvia’s arm en route to capturing the belt. Current UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski also stepped into the cage and White promised 2006 would be the year when UFC fans find out which man is the real heavyweight champion.

June 30, 2011