The Octagon made its way to the City of Brotherly Love and while Rocky Balbao might not have been in the main event, a real life Rocky headlined against the man that beat up Clubber Lang. Coming live from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it’s “UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz”.
UFC 133 was headlined by former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans taking out another former champion, Tito Ortiz, in a rematch of their 2007 fight ending in a draw. In the end Evans earned another crack at the light heavyweight belt by finishing Ortiz with strikes after landing a brutal knee to the 205-pound icon’s midsection late in the second round.
In the co-main event, Vitor Belfort added Japanese superstar Yoshihiro Akiyama to his list of successes after their middleweight showdown left “Sexyama” face down thanks to the Brazilian’s hand-speed and power.
Also on the card, welterweight prodigy Rory MacDonald took out tough veteran Mike Pyle with an opening round TKO after exhibiting the type of athleticism and technique attached to the 22-year old rising star.
PRELIMINARY CARD (FACEBOOK.COM/UFC)
Rafael Natal def. Paul Bradley via Unanimous Decision
Mike Thomas Brown def. Nam Phan via Unanimous Decision
Johny Hendricks def. Mike Pierce via Split Decision
Ivan Menjivar def. Nick Pace via Unanimous Decision
PRELIMINARY CARD (SPIKE TV)
Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya
Round One: Relatively slow start early with Mendes really working the inside leg kicks. Yahya rushing forward with his punches but not coming close. Mendes finally lets his hands go with just over a minute left and lands a nice combo. More inside leg kicks by Mendes. Mendes dumped Yahya down and then hit him with an uppercut on the way up. Mendes lands a flying knee as the round ends. Not the most exciting round ever but Mendes is having his way with Yahya on the feet. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Mendes.
Round Two: Mendes gets an early takedown but backs out, wanting nothing to do with Yahya’s jiu-jitsu. Body shot by Mendes and another takedown. Mendes again just backs out though. Yahya lands a counter left but as he throws again, he gets hit with a right hand. Mendes landing the overhand right almost every time Yahya throws a lazy kick. Crowd booing as the round ends. Another good round for Mendes, even if a bit dull. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Mendes.
Round Three: Early takedown by Mendes. Yahya controlling the posture of Mendes, who can only manage to break away and land short elbows every now and again. After a scramble, they end up back on the feet, where Mendes immediately gets another takedown. Not much happens on the ground before Yahya again scrambles up. Yahya lands a left hook that stumbles Mendes but he can’t follow up and Mendes gets another takedown. Mendes does a “guard front flip pass” to end the round. Clean sweep for Mendes but not the showcase performance he needed. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Mendes.
Result: Chad Mendes def. Rani Yahya via Unanimous Decision
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Matt Hamill
Round One: Gustafsson tagging Hamill with right hand was Hamill comes in. Gustafsson really looking for the right uppercut. Hamill having a tough time getting anything going. Hamill now landing a stiff jab and left hook, which cuts Gustafsson. Gustafsson continues to find a home for the uppercut when Hamill ducks under for the takedown. Round ends with a smattering of boos. Pretty close round but Gustafsson landed the cleaner shots. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Gustafsson.
Round Two: Hamill gets in tight early and eats some short uppercuts. Gustafsson really looking for the right uppercut. He’s connecting with it but Hamill has an excellent chin. Gustafsson is the more aggressive fighter but Hamill is covering well. Gustafsson defends the takedown and rocks Hamill with a left hand. Gustafsson stays on him, buckles Hamill, and pounces on him on the ground. Gustafsson all over Hamill, mounts him, and forces the referee stoppage with strikes.
Result: Alexander Gustafsson def. Matt Hamill via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)
Mike Pyle vs. Rory MacDonald
Round One: MacDonald trips Pyle down as he throws a kick but lets him up. Pyle gets a takedown but MacDonald bounces back up. Pyle stays on him in the clinch though before MacDonald works free. MacDonald lands a combo that has Pyle going for a desperation shot. MacDonald almost locks on a guillotine but Pyle rolls out. MacDonald stands over Pyle and kicks him in the legs. MacDonald lands a big punch on the ground that has Pyle covering up. MacDonald continues to rain down punches as Pyle covers and gives up his back. The ref finally steps in to stop things. Impressive stuff from MacDonald.
Result: Rory MacDonald def. Mike Pyle via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Jorge Rivera vs. Constantinos Philippou
Round One: Crowd immediately boos when they clinch. Philippou gets a takedown and moves to half guard. Rivera wall walks up but eats some punches on the way up. More clinching from Philippou. They break and Rivera lands a good combo before Philippou clinches again. Rivera lands on the break but Philippou fires back with an uppercut. The round ends with Philippou pushing forward and the crowd booing. Not much happened but Philippou scored a takedown and had a lot of clinch control.
Round Two: Philippou comes out with a combo that rocks Rivera. Philippou follows up and drops him. Rivera turtles up and Philippou pounds away. Rivera survives though and ends up putting Philippou on his back, where he lands some ground and pound. Philippou survives as well and gets to his feet. Great start to the round. Philippou gets inside and lands some short uppercuts. Rivera gets a trip takedown and Philippou immediately goes for an omoplata. Philippou switches to a footlock and uses that to get on top as the round ends. Good round for Philippou. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Philippou.
Round Three: Philippou lands a right hand but Rivera comes back with a knee that has Philippou backing up. Big right by Rivera stuns Philippou, but he fires right back. Both men putting everything into their punches. Philippou gets a takedown. Rivera threatens with a triangle but Philippou avoids it before they scramble up. Rivera defends a takedown and makes Philippou pay with short punches. Rivera presses Philippou against the cage and continues to batter him with punches. Rivera goes for a takedown as the round ends but ends up on his back. Close round but a slight edge to Rivera. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Rivera but the fight 29-28 for Philippou.
Result: Constantinos Philippou def. Jorge Rivera via Split Decision
Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole
Round One: Quick takedown by Hallman and he’s immediately on the back. Hallman working hard for the rear naked choke but Ebersole defending well. Hallman tries to move to mount but Ebersole rolls him over. Hallman goes for a guillotine but Ebersole escapes. Ebersole on top and landing some good ground and pound. Big elbow by Ebersole that hurt Hallman. Ebersole continues with some big elbows and punches. More elbows and the ref jumps in to stop it.
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Round One: Belfort looking for the head kick early. Belfort drops Akiyama with a straight left. Belfort swarms on him. Akiyama survives for a bit but Belfort continues to let his hands go. Akiyama goes out cold and the ref jumps in. Quick and easy for Vitor.
Result: Vitor Belfort def. Yoshihiro Akiyama via KO Round 1 (Punches)
Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz
Round One: Slow start outside of a left hook by Ortiz and an overhand right by Evans. A quick clinch leads to Ortiz throwing on the break. Ortiz gets a takedown but can’t keep Evans down. Big exchange with both men connecting but Evans landing some big right hands. Ortiz covering and surviving though. Big knee to the chin of Evans by Ortiz. Big takedown by Evans. Evans with some big ground and pound from half guard. Evans with more punches as the round ends. Very strong second half of the round for Evans. 5OZ scores the round 10-9 for Evans.
Round Two: Evans presses forward and gets a takedown. Ortiz grabs a guillotine and almost has it but Evans gets to half guard and pops his head out. Evans passes to side control and pounds away as Ortiz gives a thumbs up to signal that he’s ok. Evans gets the mounted crucifix and lands some elbows before Ortiz escapes. Ortiz rolls for a leg lock but Evans avoids it. Ortiz gets to his knees and Evans knees him in the body, which crumbles Ortiz. Evans pounds away and the ref stops the fight. Big finish for Evans.
Result: Rashad Evans def. Tito Ortiz via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)