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Tito Ortiz to fight Ryan Bader at UFC 132

3/21/2011

NEWARK, N.J. -- Former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz will face contender Ryan Bader on July 2 in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White told ESPN.com on Monday.

Ortiz (15-8-1) will look to snap a three-fight losing skid, while Bader attempts to bounce back from the first loss of his professional career. Bader was defeated by newly crowned 205-pound champion Jon Jones on Feb. 5.

"I like this fight," White said. "It's a good fight stylistically; they're both wrestlers. Tito is coming off several losses, and Bader is coming off a loss."

White said that Ortiz likely needs a win over Bader to retain his spot on the UFC's roster.

"The last [fight] was a must-win for Tito," White said while overseeing tryouts for Season 14 of "The Ultimate Fighter." "Tito lost his last fight [by unanimous decision on Oct. 23 to Matt Hamill] and told me, he pleaded to me and Lorenzo [Fertitta], about how nobody has beaten him up, that he can still do this, to give him another chance, and this and that and everything else.

"We'll see what happens."

White expects Bader to be a difficult opponent for the 36-year-old Ortiz. Bader (27) will bring a record of 12-1-0 into the fight, which will be held at UFC 132.

"I would want to fight Tito Ortiz," Bader said in Australia last month. "Just because I grew up watching him. I want to have one of those guys on my resume like a Randy Couture or Chuck Liddell. Purely out of respect, he's one I'd like to fight before my career is over."

"Bader didn't look that bad [against Jones], now that you know what just happened to [Mauricio Rua]," White said.

Jones dominated Rua, before stopping him in the third round Saturday night, at UFC 128 to capture the light heavyweight title.

Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. ESPN.com mixed martial arts writer Brett Okamoto also contributed to this report.