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UFC 133: Evans Vs. Ortiz Betting Analysis & Predictions

UFC 133 is set to air this Saturday night, live from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This might be one of the most injury-plagued cards that the UFC has seen in a long time. What was once a stellar fight card has been bitten several times by the injury bug and has caused a number of fight changes or cancellations.

Just to punish ourselves about what might have been, let’s take a look at some of the fights that we are no longer seeing on Saturday night, before we get into the ones that we will see. Let’s start at the top, the original Main Event of this card was set to feature Rashad Evans challenging new Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones for the title, however, a hand-injury forced Jones off of the card and he was soon replaced by undefeated prospect Phil Davis. A torn ligament in Davis’ knee a few weeks later caused his withdrawal from the fight, and after some very public and very confusing negotiations (covered frustratingly well by our friend Eric here at CCB) with Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz, Ortiz finally answered the call and is now taking on Evans in a rematch of their fight from UFC 72 in 2007. I’ve already offered my opinions on Evans vs. Ortiz 2 on the CCB, check out that article here.

And that was just the main event. Other fights that have been lost or changed include, the original co-headliner of Rich “Ace” Franklin and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. A shoulder-injury suffered by “Lil Nog” caused him to withdraw and despite being offered another opponent Franklin chose to wait for a bigger name opponent and was removed from the card as well. Other fighters who were rumored to be fighting in Philadelphia but won’t be come Saturday night include: Michael McDonald, Jose Aldo, Riki Fukuda, Vladmir Matyushenko and Jorge Rivera.

However, even with all of those injuries there remains a number of solid, intriguing bouts with lots of opportunities for betting. Once again the UFC will be offering us a plethora of options to watch the fights this weekend as they feature four preliminary card fights on Facebook, 2 on Spike TV and the five fight Main Card, live on Pay Per View. But enough rambling, let’s get to the fights and let’s make some money.

As always all betting lines are the current best available market lines from BestFightOdds.com (www.bestfightodds.com)

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Middleweight Bout: Rafael Natal (+110) vs. Paul Bradley (-115)

Rafael “Sapo” Natal is a Brazilian born fighter from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He stands 6’0″ and has a career MMA Record of 12-3-1. Natal is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, who holds a black belt and trains out of the Gracie Fusion camp. Natal holds a career record of 12-3-1, with 7 wins via Submission. He however has struggled inside the Octagon and is currently 0-1-1 in the UFC. In his last fight at UFC 124 Natal was able to outwrestle and out grapple Jesse Bongfeldt for two rounds, before gassing in the final frame and losing a 10-8 round where he was dominated thoroughly. The end result was a majority draw. Natal has decent stand up, but his bread and butter is to earn takedowns and work his top game to ground and pound and look for openings for submissions. Looking for his first UFC win in his third try, Natal is likely looking at a pink slip with a loss in this one.

Paul Bradley is making his UFC debut and is stepping into the fight on just over two weeks notice. The injury bug that has plagued this card caused Natal’s original opponent to move elsewhere on the card and Bradley now steps in. Bradley is most notable for his brief appearance on Season 7 of The Ultimate Fighter where he was forced to leave the show due to a skin infection. Standing 5’9″ and mixing his time between 170 and 185 pounds, he will be giving up some size to his opponent, but he is a strong wrestler who owns a career mark of 18-2 with an equal number of wins via TKO, Submission or Decision. He is currently riding a five-fight win streak, finishing all of his opponents in that stretch.

Prediction: This is really Bradley’s fight to lose. Despite stepping in on short notice he should be able to control Natal in this fight. The size disparity is somewhat concerning but considering Bradley’s strong wrestling skills he should be able to negate that. Neither man has great stand up, but both are solid on the ground, so expect a tactical match on the ground when the fight gets there. This one isn’t likely to win fight of the night, but I think Bradley should be able to do enough to earn a somewhat close but ultimately Unanimous Decision.

Betting Analysis: This fight is pretty close and the betting line reflects that. Bradley actually opened as a slight underdog and I would bet him as an underdog. However, I’m not confident laying a lot of money on him, so I’ll avoid this one.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Featherweight Bout: Mike Brown (-205) vs. Nam Phan (+185)

Mike Thomas Brown is seemingly at a crossroads in his career. He has looked like a shell of his former self since entering the UFC, despite being a former WEC Featherweight Champion and demolishing Urijah Faber twice, he has been unable to secure his first win inside the octagon and is likely facing possible unemployment. What’s been wrong with his latest performances is anyone’s guess, but when Brown is on his game he is one of the best 145-Pound fighters in the world. Brown has strong power punching with great offensive wrestling and nasty ground and pound, but he has yet to show it off inside the UFC. If the American Top Team fighter is planning to turn things around inside the UFC he’s going to need to get back to his old ways, focusing on big power punches, while working for takedowns and blasting away from top position.

Nam Phan is an experienced MMA fighter searching for his first win inside the Octagon, however he should have already received it. In his last fight, he lost a close and very controversial Split Decision to Leonard Garcia at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale. Phan is a well-rounded fighter with strong boxing and swift footwork matched with black-belt level skills in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Karate. With a career record of 16-8, Phan is well experienced on MMA’s big stage but has had mediocre results. He will likely be the quicker fighter in the cage on Saturday night and if he wants to win, he’s going to need to use his quick footwork to dart around and frustrate Brown while standing and avoid the big power of Brown.

Prediction: This is a very tough fight to call, mainly because it’s hard to say what version of Mike Brown will show up. If it is the same fighter that has shown up for his previous two fights, both disappointing losses to Rani Yahya and Diego Nunes then it is a much closer fight. If we see the same Brown who was able to steamroll the WEC Featherweight division before the arrival of Jose Aldo then it will be a long night for Phan. With that said, I’ll withhold an official prediction until the betting analysis of this one.

Betting Analysis: I’m actually going to take a shot with Nam Phan in this one. He was basically robbed of a win against Leonard Garcia, so he should be 1-0 heading into this fight. I am a huge Mike Brown fight, but if he shows up the same way he has in his last two fights, I can see Phan pulling off the upset. However, it’s just the shot that Brown is at the end of his career, and no longer the fighter he once was. At +185 it’s enough for me to take a very small shot. Nam Phan by close Unanimous Decision for half a unit.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Welterweight Bout: Johny Hendricks (-120) vs. Mike Pierce (+125)

Johny Hendricks is a 27-year-old fighter from Ada, Oklahoma. He is a former NCAA Division 1 Wrestler, winning the NCAA Title at 165 pounds in 2005 and 2006. He now trains with Team Takedown in Dallas, Texas. Starting his MMA career as a wrestler he has begun to develop strong stand up skills to compliment his wrestling. He has a career record of 10-1 with 6 wins via TKO and 1 via Submission. His lone loss was to Rick Story in a close fight where the difference may have been Story’s aggressiveness and takedowns.

Mike “Megatron” Pierce is a 30-year-old fighter from Portland, Oregon. He stands 5’8″ and like Hendricks is a strong wrestler. He spent his college days wrestling at Portland State University, although never earning the accolades that his opponent did. Pierce fights out of the Sports Lab and is a training partner of the only man to defeat Hendricks, Rick Story. Surely Pierce will be gaining valuable information from Story as he game plans for this fight. Pierce’s lone UFC loss is to Jon Fitch and he holds a career record of 12-3, with 7 wins via stoppage. He is currently on a three fight-winning streak and has finished his last two opponents.

Prediction: There are usually two possible outcomes for a fight between two strong wrestlers. Number one is that they forget wrestling, assuming that the other’s strength at wrestling will negate takedowns and they instead choose to stand and trade. The other is a grapple-fest where the person who scores more takedowns is often the winner. One fight can deliver fireworks, the other often leaves fans making their way to the beer vendors. I think that this one is more likely to be of the fireworks variety. Both have improved their striking to the point that they should feel comfortable there. Also, both have promised to put on a show for the fans in the hype-talk leading into the fight. In a stand up fight, one would have to say that Hendricks has shown the superior boxing skills and should hold an advantage there. I doubt he is able to stop Pierce and there could be a lot of trouble for him in this one, but I think Hendricks can box his way to a close decision. Johnny Hendricks via Unanimous Decision.

Betting Analysis: I definitely do not trust Hendricks enough in this one to lay money with him. I think he should be the favorite, but the fight is close and when two strong wrestlers go at it, who knows what might happen. It could be a grappling fest, where the person who ends the fight on top wins. I’m not willing to gamble on that, so I’m staying away.

Preliminary Card (Facebook): Bantamweight Bout: Ivan Menjivar (-200) vs. Nick Pace (+200)

Ivan Menjivar “The Pride of El Salvador” is a veteran fighter with 30 fights on his resume. Despite being the Pride of El Salvador, Menjivar trains out of the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has a career record of 22-8, although it’s important to note that he spent many of his early years fighting well above his natural weight (in fact Menjivar has competed as heavy as Welterweight.) Menjivar is a very well rounded fighter with strong boxing and Muay Thai skills with big power in his hands. He also has sound grappling skills with decent wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In his career he has proved very tough to finish, losing by stoppage only twice in 30 fights, while stopping his opponents 17 times in 22 career wins.

Nick Pace is a young up-and-coming fighter from New York City, New York. Pace trains at the Tiger Schulmann Fight Team in New Jersey, along with former Bellator Welterweight Champion Lyman Good. Despite his relative inexperience he has proven himself to be a strong grappler and wrestler. He owns a career record of 6-1, with the lone loss coming to current Bantamweight Number One Contender Demetrious Johnson. He won his last fight by Pillory Choke, the first time the move was ever used in the UFC.

Prediction: Menjivar would likely prefer to keep this fight standing. Pace has shown strong grappling skills, but his boxing looked fairly rudimentary against Will Campuzano in his last fight. If Menjivar can avoid the takedown he will likely be able to outbox the youngster. However on the ground, I think Pace can control the fight well. He has strong submissions and excellent takedowns, so if he can earn some well-timed takedowns, the fight will swing to his favor. However, Menjivar is no slouch on the ground and is extremely tough to finish. I think this one is closer than most people think and I think the youngster might actually be able to pull off the upset, especially if he’s able to spend most of his time in top control. Nick Pace by Split Decision.

Betting Analysis: Menjivar should be the favorite in this one. He’s clearly more experienced in big fights and is a strong fighter. However, Pace is a strong grappler and has shown a lot of promise in his young career. Getting 2-to-1 makes this a small play for me. I’m wagering a half unit on Nick Pace.

Preliminary Card (Live on SPIKE TV): Featherweight Bout: Chad Mendes (-555) vs. Rani Yahya (+475)

Chad “Money” Mendes is an undefeated and highly touted young fighter from the Team Alpha Male camp. The 26-year-old was considered the consensus Number One Contender to the UFC Featherweight Championship, but an injury to Aldo delayed his title shot and Mendes has chosen to fight instead of waiting for his shot. It is a good plan for a strong fighter who is still gaining experience. At 10-0 he has been criticized by some for his inability to finish his opponents. Mendes is a former NCAA wrestler, wrestling for California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo. Since entering professional MMA in 2008, he has added strong but somewhat basic boxing and Muay Thai skills to his wrestling skills. Mendes’ submission defense will be tested in this fight, and he needs a strong showing to cement his place as the Number One Contender to the UFC title.

Rani Yahya is a Brazilian fighter from Brasilia, Brazil. Yahya is an extremely talented grappler with strong submission skills and black-belt level skills in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is the 2007 winner of the Abu Dhabi Combat Club Grappling tournament in the 66 kg division. He owns a career MMA record of 16-6, with an amazing 14 wins via Submission. Yahya is coming off of a strong showing against Mike Brown a fight that he won by Unanimous Decision.

Prediction: Everything points to this being Mendes fight. His teammate at Team Alpha Male Joseph Benavidez was able to thrash Yahya, defeating him by TKO in only 1:35 of the first round. Mendes will surely be looking to Benavidez for guidance and strategy heading into this one. Yahya is a game competitor but struggles against strong wrestlers who are able to neutralize his submissions and will likely be at a significant disadvantage in the striking department. I expect Mendes to silence his critics and deliver a statement win, dominating Yahya the whole way before stopping him in the second round. Chad Mendes via TKO in Round 2.

Betting Analysis: I think Mendes is the big favorite for good reason, but I’m not laying -555 with him. That means I’m going to take a look at Yahya at nearly a 5-to-1 underdog. At +475 he is being given a 17% chance of winning this fight. I think that’s probably about right, so despite the tempting long odds, I’m staying away.

Preliminary Card (Live on SPIKE TV): Light Heavyweight Bout: Matt Hamill (+165) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (-165)

Matt “The Hammer” Hamill is a 34-year-old fighter from Loveland, Ohio who now fights out of Utica, New York. Hamill is a former NCAA Division 3 Wrestling champion. He is most notable as being a member of The Ultimate Fighter three as well as being deaf. Hamill is a strong wrestler who is developing solid boxing skills to compliment his wrestling, but often overly relies on his wrestling in fights. He owns a career record of 10-3, but has struggled against elite level competition like Rich Franklin, Jon Jones and most recently Quinton Jackson. The key to defeating Hamill is to stop his takedowns as evidenced by Jackson’s win over Hamill. During that fight Hamill was 0 for 17 on his takedown attempts, while offering little else in the way of offense.

Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson is 24-year-old fighter from Stockholm, Sweden. He is a large Light Heavyweight standing at 6’5″ and with a 76.5-inch reach. Gustafsson previously trained as an amateur boxer, leading to his strong stand up skills. He has also developed strong Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills and now has a blue belt in BJJ. Gustafsson owns a career record of 11-1 with the lone loss coming to undefeated prospect Phil Davis at UFC 112. Since then, he has submitted his past two opponents, both via Rear Naked Choke after dropping them standing. Gustafsson was originally expected to face Vladimir Matyushenko but an injury caused Hamill to replace Matyushenko. Since his loss to Davis, he has become a training partner of Davis’ spending some time at Alliance MMA to improve his wrestling skills.

Prediction: The key to this fight is going to come down to Gustafsson’s takedown defense. The Swede has the stronger boxing skills and will have a significant reach advantage which he should put to use by utilizing a strong jab to maintain distance and make Hamill shoot from outside, neutralizing his wrestling. Hamill will surely have watched the Davis-Gustafsson fight and will looking to be shoot for takedowns at every opportunity. However, even in that fight Gustafsson showed solid takedown defense and was able to stuff several of Davis’ takedowns, before finally succumbing to a takedown. This could very well be a statement fight for the Swede. Alexander Gustafsson by TKO in Round 3.

Betting Analysis: I think Gustafsson has a clear path to victory here. But the line has been bet into a good position. When the line opened Gustafsson was only a -140 favorite, but has been bet to -165. This means they’re giving him about 63% chance of winning and he’s probably right around 65% so I’ll pass up a play here. I don’t like hitting small edges, especially against a wrestler as good as Matt Hamill. No bet.

Main Card (Live on PPV): Welterweight Bout: Rory MacDonald (-270) vs. Mike Pyle (+246)

Rory “Ares” MacDonald is a 22-year-old fighter from Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada. He has long been considered one of Canada’s greatest MMA prospects. He is a young fighter, who actually began training specifically for MMA competition. He has strong wrestling, great Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and solid boxing skills. He owns a career record of 11-1, with the lone loss to surging Welterweight fighter Carlos Condit, in a fight that MacDonald dominated for the first two rounds. MacDonald owns 4 victories via TKO and 6 via Submission, showing great finishing skills. Since his loss to Condit he has begun training with Georges St. Pierre at the Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec.

Mike “Quicksand” Pyle is a 35-year-old and a veteran of the sport. Pyle is a well-rounded fighter with decent boxing but very strong ground skills, he owns a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is a member of the Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pyle has a career record of 21-7-1 with the majority of his wins coming by way of Submission. Pyle is on a bit of a career renaissance as he is currently riding a 3-fight winning streak. He also has enjoyed playing spoiler to up-and-coming prospects as he derailed the John Hathaway hype train back at UFC 120 in London, England in a fight where he dominated the previously undefeated Hathaway.

Prediction: This is a fight between two fighters at very different stages of their careers. Pyle took a close Unanimous Decision in his last fight against Ricardo Almeida at UFC 128, but I think showed some holes in his game. In his last fight MacDonald absolutely dominated Nate Diaz over three rounds at UFC 129. He was able to outbox, out grapple, outwork and overpower Diaz, including rag-dolling Diaz with three German Suplexes in the third round. The move to Tristar has proven to be very good for MacDonald, as he now has strong training partners and excellent coaches to put all of his raw talent to work with a proper game plan. MacDonald should be the better boxer in the fight, and should be able to use his wrestling skills to control where the fight takes place. The fight instantly becomes more winnable for Pyle if he is able to earn a takedown, but MacDonald is very fast and very aware inside the cage and should be able to scramble quickly. There may be some trouble along the way and this is a strong test for the youngster, but MacDonald has the tools to earn a Unanimous Decision victory. Rory MacDonald via Unanimous Decision.

Betting Analysis: This is one that I keep thinking I should bet as the line gets better and better for Pyle. Pyle is a strong, experienced, tough veteran, who can pull off the upset if he’s able to outwrestle and outwork MacDonald. However, I really like MacDonald and his style of fighting. He’s young and hungry and I’m not going to bet against that unless the line gets closer to +300 for Pyle. Currently no bet.

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Main Card (Live on PPV): Middleweight Bout: Jorge Rivera (-135) vs. Constantinos Philippou (+130)

Jorge “El Conquistador” Rivera is a 39-year-old veteran of the fight game. He is a strong stand up fighter with great Thai Boxing skills but a lacking ground game. He trains with the Sityodong fight team in Massachusetts. He holds a career record of 19-8, with 13 wins via TKO, but only 2 by Submission, clearly Rivera relies heavily on his hands to get the job done. Despite his strong boxing skills, he has shown a somewhat fragile chin, being rocked and knocked out by several of the other big punchers in the Middleweight division.

Constantinos “Costa” Philippou is a fighter from the Cyprus Islands in Greece. He is a member of the Serra-Longo Fight Team in New York. He is a relative newcomer to the sport, with a total of 10 career fights since turning pro in May 2008. In those 10 fights he holds a career record of 7-2 with 1 No Contest. He is seeking his first career UFC victory after a failed debut against Nick Catone. Philippou has never been finished in his career despite facing solid strikers, if he can survive the power punches of Rivera and get the fight to the mat, it is likely that he will be able to earn rounds by taking advantage of Rivera’s weak ground skills.

Prediction: This fight could easily go either way. However, I don’t think Philippou showed a whole lot in his UFC debut against Catone. However, he should still have the ground skills to work a clinic on Rivera and he has never been finished, so he at least as the ability to survive some punishment. I’ll always pick the guy who can win the ground game and I think that’s Philippou, but I wouldn’t be betting the house on someone who showed so little in his last fight. Constantinos Philippou via Submission in Round 2

Betting Analysis: Philippou has the ground skills to outwork and out grapple Rivera on the ground. He’s a slight underdog, but I think the fight is closer to a pick ‘em contest given the likely edge that Philippou has on the mat. However, I’m not totally sold on Philippou as the next coming of Demian Maia, so I’m only making a small half unit play.

Main Card (Live on PPV): Welterweight Bout: Dennis Hallman (-110) vs. Brian Ebersole (+105)

Dennis Hallman is a 35-year-old veteran of the sport. He owns a very impressive resume as a professional, carrying a record of 50-13-2-1 into this fight. He is best known for his skills on the mat, holding an overwhelming 38 wins via Submission. He is a former state champion wrestler. Hallman is likely well known for his dominance of former Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes. (He has defeated Hughes twice by submission in a combined 38 seconds.) He is 2-1 since returning to the UFC in 2009, but his lone loss came by KO in the final 30 seconds of a fight that he was cruising to a Decision win in.

Brian Ebersole is a 30-year-old fighter from Indiana, but now fighting out of Australia. He is a veteran of the MMA world like his opponent, fighting professionally over 60 times. He has also fought as heavy as Heavyweight in his past fights, before dropping to Light Heavyweight, then Middleweight and finally Welterweight. Ebersole is known for his iron chin, never being KO’ed in 63 fights. He owns a career record of 47-14, and recently made a successful debut against Chris Lytle dominating with strong striking skills and ground control.

Prediction: This is definitely a fight that I would never expect to see on the main card of a UFC Pay Per View. The UFC does not have too many fighters with this kind of MMA experience on their roster and to see them taking on one another is a treat for hardcore fans. With over 125 fights between them, there will be a lot of experience in the cage. Ebersole likely holds the stand up edge as he showed some strong skills against Chris Lytle, but on the mat Hallman should have the grappling advantage. Ebersole has lost 9 of his 14 career losses via Submission, which is a bright spot for Hallman. Dennis Hallman via Submission in Round 2.

Betting Analysis: This will likely be my biggest play of the night. The current line is extremely close with Hallman getting only a slight edge. At -110 Hallman is getting only a 52% chance of winning, however, given his strong grappling and wrestling skills and Ebersole’s penchant for getting caught in submissions and struggling against Submission Experts I think he should be closer to a 55-60% favorite. I’ll take a full unit on Hallman to win this one.

Main Card (Live on PPV): Middleweight Bout: Vitor Belfort (-295) vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (+280)

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort is an MMA pioneer from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 34-year-old made his professional debut at the age of 19. During his career he has fought a plethora of big names and has been most well known for his inconsistent results. However, he had been on a bit of a career resurrection since 2007, before running into Anderson Silva and his Steven Seagall inspired front kick. With that aside, Belfort still owns some of the best stand up in the Middleweight division, with extremely fast hands and devastating knockout power. He also holds a black belt in Brazilian-Jiu-Jitsu and improving wrestling skills from his time spent at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.

Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama is a Japanese fighter and a cult-hero in his home country. He is a strong boxer and a third degree Judo black belt. The 35-year-old fighter from Osaka, Japan recently made the move stateside to begin training with the famed Jackson’s Submission Fighting Camp in New Mexico. Prior to becoming a professional fighter, Akiyama was a decorated Judoka winning the 2001 and 2002 Asian Games in Judo, representing both Korea and Japan. As a fighter, he owns a professional record of 13-3. Since his octagon debut where he defeated Alan Belcher, he is on a two fight-losing skid, losing to both Chris Leben and Michael Bisping. He is likely fighting for his job in this one, as the threat of three straight losses would likely earn him a pink slip.

Prediction: This fight is being contested at Middleweight, but there will likely be a significant size difference between these two. Akiyama does not cut much weight to make the 185-Pound limit, while Belfort is a former Light Heavyweight Champion and has fought as a Heavyweight in his MMA career. Akiyama has dangerous submission skills with his background in Judo, but he rarely uses them in fights, preferring instead to bang it out on the feet. This earns him a lot of fans and all three of his UFC fights have won Fight of the Night honors, but doesn’t do him any favors in this fight. In a stand up fight Belfort is too fast and hits too hard for Akiyama to handle. Expect a pretty one-sided fight until Belfort unloads a big combination that stops Akiyama in the second. Vitor Belfort via KO in Round 2.

Betting Analysis: Belfort is the heavy favorite and he should be. This is a solid bounce back fight for him. He has an opponent who is very likely to stand and trade with him and while Akiyama is no slouch in the boxing department, Belfort hits harder and will likely be faster in the cage. Belfort is being given a 75% chance of winning the fight, it’s probably a bit closer to 80% or so, so I’ll take a small half unit bet. But I hate laying that much juice and if you choose not to I wouldn’t blame you.

UFC 133 Main Event (Live on PPV): Light Heavyweight Bout: Rashad Evans (-400) vs. Tito Ortiz (+365)

I’ve already analyzed this fight in depth in my previous post when the main event was first announced. I’ll go ahead and give a quick preview of my thoughts on the fight, but for more detailed analysis check out that post here.

Prediction: I think Evans takes this one relatively easily. Evans is several times the fighter that he was when these two first fought. He has improved his stand up skills significantly and should be the quicker, stronger, more athletic fighter in the cage on Saturday night. However, his previous problems with his gas tank in the third rounds of his fights against Thiago Silva and Rampage are enough to give me cause for concern as Ortiz has one of the best gas tanks in the Light Heavyweight Division. Nonetheless I’ll take Evans via Decision. Rashad Evans via Unanimous Decision.

Betting Analysis: I’m not betting this fight. Ortiz’s win over Bader didn’t show us much, it was over with one punch before it really got going. We still don’t know how Ortiz is going to handle a strong wrestler taking him down. On the flipside Rashad has the chance of significant ring rust, having not fought in over a year and given his previous gas tank problems, I’m not comfortable laying 4-to-1 with him. No bet here for me.

Enjoy the fights everyone!

Lee McGregor is a fan of all combat sports including both Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts. When not catching fights or watching hockey, he can be found as an Author and Editor at his own website MyManCave.ca

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