UFC 133 served as a catalyst for several fighters’ climb to the upper rankings of their respective divisions. “Sugar” Rashad Evans proved that he is the top contender for the Light Heavyweight title after defeating the re-invigorated, Tito Ortiz. Evans came from a long 14-month inactivity due to a knee injury while Tito Ortiz just came off an impressive submission victory over Ryan Bader last month in UFC 132.
Round 1. Evans opened up the fight with great hand speed and footwork. Ortiz tried to exchange with the Ultimate Fighter winner and eventually attempted for a takedown. Ortiz held Evans for a bit but struggled to completely take the top control. After Evans went back on his feet, he swarmed Ortiz with combinations and caught a huge takedown. Evans continued to swarm Ortiz with punches and elbows until the bell rang, signifying the end of the first round.
Round 2. In the second round, Ortiz seemed a little tentative with his striking, Evans continued to use his speed advantage and secured another takedown, but this time, Ortiz held on to a guillotine choke attempt. The choke hold was tight and Evans seems to be in big trouble but he kept his composure and was able to escape the submission attempt. Evans regained top control on the side and rained down blows on Ortiz. I saw Ortiz doing his best to roll out of the bottom position, using the wall as a springboard for a possible reversal. But Evan’s top control was solid and caught Ortiz in a crucifix position. Ortiz’s last significant offensive move was a knee bar attempt which was easily shrugged off by Evans. When Ortiz got to his knees, Evans connected a lethal knee blow to his solar plexus (between the chest and the stomach region). Ortiz was visibly hurt, tumbled down and curled up. Evans jumped on the opportunity and rained more blows to the aching Ortiz. Referee Dan Miragliotta stops the fight with 12 seconds remaining in the second round.
Title shot for Rashad Evans. Sugar was supposed to face Shogun Rua for the title on UFC 128, but because of a knee injury, he was sidelined and his former training partner, Jon Jones, replaced him and captured the title. He was then supposed to fight Jones for the title on UFC 133 but Jones was sidelined due to another injury. The championship seems to evade Evans. After winning this fight, Evans is again in line for the title and he will face the winner between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and current champion, Jon “Bones” Jones. I personally want to see a Bones vs Sugar fight but a rematch with Rampage can also be interesting.
What’s next for Ortiz? I’d rather make a separate blog post about it.
Vitor Belfort wins Vitor Belfort style. And the “Phenom” is back after knocking out Yoshihiro Akiyama in the first round. Belfort showed to the world why he became so popular and one of the most feared strikers in MMA by quickly demolishing â€œSexyamaâ€ with devastating punches. Rogan mentioned that Belfort is still the most dangerous contender for Anderson Silva’s title even though he was knocked out in their last fight. If the KO didn’t happen, Silva could have been in a huge trouble. Let’s see if Belfort gets another title shot after SIlva faces Yushin “Thunder” Okami on UFC 134/Rio.
Brian Ebersole stops Hallman. Ebersole defeats another seasoned UFC veteran by putting out Dennis “Superman” Hallman. Ebersole was also given an additional $70,000 for the “thanks for getting those horrifying shorts off TV as soon as possible” bonus.
MacDonald is a rising star. Another stand-out in the UFC 133 event was Rory MacDonald who defeated UFC veteran, Mike Pyle via TKO in the first round. Rogan said MacDonald may be the next GSP or he could be even better.