Tito Ortiz makes his much anticipated return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 106 Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Ortiz takes on Forrest Griffin in a rematch of their classic 2006 bout in Anaheim which he won by a split decision. Ortiz is “arguably the biggest draw in UFC history.” His December 2006 match against Chuck Liddell, at UFC 66, was the first event in Ultimate Fighting history to do 1 million pay-per-view buys. When Ortiz battled Ken Shamrock, in Ortiz-Shamrock III on Spike TV, it became the most-watched MMA event in North American history.

Ortiz last fought for the UFC eighteen months ago. Since then he has come back from a major back injury, impregnated porn star Jenna Jameson, and endured contract squabbles with Dana White and the UFC. Ortiz makes his return to the Octagon against Griffin, who is also a fan favorite and a former UFC champion. Griffin captured the UFC light heavtweight championship with a victory over Rampage Jackson in 2008. He then lost the belt to Rashad Evans and then lost again to Anderson Silva.

Ortiz’s battles with UFC management have been just as famous as his matches inside the cage. He actually retired from UFC once, in a contract dispute, to pursue an acting career which included a failed run on Celebrity Apprentice. Ortiz also played a dead guy on Numb3rs and appeared with Jameson in Zombie Strippers! Despite being a huge gate attraction, Ortiz has always been a pain in the UFC’s ass. He once pulled out of a UFC personal appearance for the Marines where he was to be a guest of honor because the high command at Mirimar wouldn’t let him bring his porn star girlfriend on base.

Also appearing on tonight’s UFC 106 card is TUF alum and former collegiate wrestling champion Josh Kosheck, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Kendall Grove. Another interesting storyline is the return to UFC of “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni. Baroni is now 33 and has not fought for the UFC since 2005. He has not WON a UFC event since 2002! Baroni was also busted by the California State Athletic Commission for steroid use.

One fighter who will NOT be at UFC 106 is Karo Parisyan who pulled out of the event at the last minute. A furious Dana White says  the fighter “f**ed” his organization and vowed that Parisyan will “never” fight in the UFC again.

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