Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz picked up right where they left off four years ago with an exciting UFC 133 main-event. Ortiz put in a valiant effort after taking the fight on short notice, but he was no match for Evans in Philadelphia.
[adinserter block=”1″]They opened up tentative, feeling each other out in the early moments. Ortiz went for takedowns and took down Evans during the first round. He wasn’t able to hold him long and Evans came up swinging. The two broke out into a wild slugfest, with Tito coming out on the losing end of the stick. Evans trapped Ortiz against the cage at one point but was unable to finish. The round ended with Evans dropping down strikes on a fallen Ortiz.
The second round started with both fighters circling looking for position. Evans finally charged but Ortiz caught him in a guillotine choke, similar to the one he just used five weeks to go beat Ryan Bader. The crowd went nuts! Evans was able to finally wiggle out. Unfortunately Tito put himself in a bad position with Evans on top, and Evans just went to town with strikes. Evans tried to get a crucifix but Ortiz escaped. The finish came with Evans delivering a brutal knee to Ortiz’s chest. Ortiz collapsed and the ref stopped the fight at 4:48 for Evans.
I’d say Evans dominated the majority of the fight. Evans definitely came out much more aggressive than he has in his last few fights. Evans also looked more willing to strike than usual. Evans will be a really tough fight for Jon Jones. Dana White said that Evans would get the Bones vs. Rampage Jackson winner. Regardless of who wins, Evans will not be a pushover. His stand up looked better than ever and I think most of us are really underrating him against Bones.
For Ortiz, it was a no lose situation. Most didn’t expect him to win with short notice. He put up a good fight early on but was really out of his league once Evans started to open up. Ortiz was close to pulling off one of the biggest upsets of all time with the choke in round two, but that was about as close as he got to ending it. Ortiz will likely find himself in the octagon against another elite light heavyweight before the end of the year, probably Lyoto Machida.
Was the Ryan Bader win a fluke? I don’t think so. I think Bader was overrated. I think Ortiz can still hang with guys of Bader’s level in the middle of the pack. However, I don’t think he has the speed anymore to hang with the top of the light heavyweight pack. Evans was just too fast for him and I can’t imagine it would be much different with Machida or even Jackson. Regardless, Ortiz earned a lot of respect for taking the fight on short notice and was shown a lot of respect from the fans in Philadelphia for his effort.
Vitor Belfort opened up the hands and put on a vintage performance in the semi-main event. Belfort swarmed in with strikes and knocked out Yoshihiro Akiyama. This is the Vitor Belfort UFC fans were hoping to see when he fought Anderson Silva. It came one fight later, but the Phenom is back and Akiyama is laying face-first on the canvas!
[adinserter block=”1″]Belfort first clipped Akiyama with a shot to the temple and then jumped on his opponent for the kill. Akiyama was out cold at 1:52 of the first round and Belfort got his second win since returning to the UFC. Immediately after the fight Belfort screamed to the announcers, “I am back!” This makes Belfort’s ninth win in the UFC, all via decisive finish.
This win certainly puts Belfort back into the middleweight championship mix. If Belfort could put a couple more wins like that together, I could easily see Dana White giving him a UFC middleweight championship match. I’d like to see him fight the Chael Sonnen vs. Brian Stann winner, but that would require him staying dormant for about five-six months so I wouldn’t count on it.
Brian Ebersole defeated Dennis Hallman in another very exciting fight on the undercard. Hallman came into the fight wearing tiny purple trunks. Hallman got Ebersole’s back early and looked like he was going to finish within the first minute. Ebersole finally broke free and opened up on Hallman. Ebersole finally put him away with a barrage of strikes at the 4:28 mark of Round 1. I don’t know if I would call it a great come-from-behind win, but it was exciting nonetheless.
UFC 133: Evans Vs. Ortiz results…
Rashad Evans defeated Tito Ortiz via TKO in Round 2
Vitor Belfort defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama via TKO in Round 1
Brian Ebersole defeated Dennis Hallman via TKO in Round 1
Constantinos Philippou defeated Jorge Rivera via split decision
Rory MacDonald defeated Mike Pyle in Round 1 via TKO
Alexander Gustafsson defeated Matt Hamill via TKO in Round 2
Chad Mendes defeated Rani Yahya via unanimous decision
Ivan Menjivar defeated Nick Pace via unanimous decision
Johny Hendricks defeated Mike Pierce via split decision
Mike Brown defeated Nam Phan via unanimous decision
Rafael “Sapo” Natal defeated Paul Bradley via unanimous decision
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