—MAIN CARD (on FX @ 8:00pm ET)—
Travis Browne (246) vs. Antonio Silva (266)
Jake Ellenberger (170) vs. Jay Hieron (170)
John Dodson (126) vs. Jussier Formiga (126)
Josh Neer (171) vs. Justin Edwards (170)
Amid the ever-growing host of lawsuits against streaming sites and their users that pirate UFC events, UFC President Dana White has in recent weeks mentioned a handful of possible futures for the MMA promotion’s future on television. While he has stated that the format of major events on Pay-Per-View supplemented by free TV prelims, The Ultimate Fighter, and free-on-TV minor events such as UFC on FX cards will likely remain in place for some time, both the UFC boss and the fans have kicked around several alternatives, some of which may render online piracy of the PPV events moot if not eliminate the damage they cause altogether. Among these have been ideas where Pay-Per-Views can be purchased in a subscription service similar to the way major sports leagues allow fans to purchase out-of-market games with products like NFL Sunday Ticket or NHL Center Ice and even a complete departure from the PPV arena into a totally broadcast/cable TV approach. From a quick outside glance, either of these options appears to be an easy fix that is win-win for the UFC and the fans, but even when the details fans can’t possibly know about the behind-the-scenes business aspects of making such deals work are taken out, there still are several drawbacks that come with such arrangements. For instance, while putting every fight on “free TV” may sound like a huge win for the fans, there are some benefits of the PPV format that are taken for granted because the UFC has always been a Pay-Per-View first product.
UFC 140. What can you say? “Wow”, “Holy Shit”, “Didn’t see that coming” All the above. Let’s just break this crazy card down, shall we?
Dennis Hallman vs. John Makdessi: Hallman via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1
Hallman, who didn’t make weight and who famously horrified Dana White with his blue micro-speedos at UFC 133, took Makdessi down, controlled him, beat him up and eventually choked him out – and saved himself from a certain firing if he had lost. He then told Joe Rogan that he hopes Jesus comes soon because “we’re barely hanging on”…okay. That was creepy. Made even more creepy by Hallman’s lisp. Just sayin’.
Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida: Jones via Technical Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 2, 4:26
Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: Mir via Submission (Kimura), Round 1, 3:38
Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: Nogueria via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:15
Claude Patrick vs. Brian Ebersole: Ebersole via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29), Round 3, 5:00
Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung: Jung via KO (Punch), Round 1, 0:07
The welterweight division of Bellator is not one of its most talent-rich divisions but it is one of the most exciting, and with the new crop of tournament competitors, depth won’t be an issue for long. Bellator Fighting Championships starts off Season 5 tomorrow night with the 170lbs. tournament in Atlantic City, New Jersey with a stacked bracket of eight men who look to earn their shot at Bellator gold. Former MFC Welterweight Champion “The Phenom” Douglas Lima (16-4) is coming off a quick first-round knockout victory over “Dangerous” Terry Martin (21-9) at MFC 29 and will take on Bellator veteran Steven Carl (14-2) who has a submission game that has earned more than half of his victories. A very familiar face, “The Handler” Dan Hornbuckle (18-4), will look to get back to the form that saw him steamroll the Season 2 field until he came up short to the stagnant wrestling of Ben Askren (8-0) when he battles with the well versed Brazilian fighter “Sapo” Luis Santos (47-6). Santos may not be known by mainstream MMA fans but when he steps into the cage and starts to throw hands they will see why those who do know him, fear him. UFC veteran and Muay Thai wrecking machine “Killa B” Ben Saunders (10-3) earned his way into the tournament with a one-sided beatdown over journeyman Matt Lee (12-9), but can he blast through X-1 MMA veteran Chris Cisneros (11-4)? Cisneros is riding a strong five-fight win streak with four finishes, and a win over Saunders will certainly improve his stock in the Bellator welterweight division. The main event features MMA Gospel’s first Young Gun “The Cleveland Assassin” Chris Lozano (8-1) and the owner of one of the previous season’s biggest upset victories, Brent Weedman (18-6). Weedman upset Hornbuckle but came up short against tournament winner “The Thoroughbred” Jay Hieron (19-4), but with another shot at glory only one win away, Weedman is coming in ready for a battle against Lozano. “The Cleveland Assassin” looks to erase the memory of his fight against former champ “Cyborg” Lyman Good (11-2) and what better way than a knockout win over Weedman?
It was a tough night for Tito Ortiz. The self-proclaimed “People’s Champion” wasn’t able to keep his Cinderella Man story going against Rashad Evans and Dennis Hallman’s twig and berries upstaged him. We’ll get to the Hallman “Junk-in-a-sling” look in a little bit. For now, let’s keep it on Tito and Rashad. I was rooting for Tito for the first time ever. I had to respect the man for pulling off what I and a lot of other people thought was impossible when it was do or die time in his fight with Ryan Bader. Now I have nothing against Rashad but the story line of a guy going from begging to keep his job to title contention in the course of a month would’ve been kinda awesome. Love Tito or hate him, you gotta admit that’s some good narrative. Tito’s hands looked impressive in his fight with Ryan Bader so I thought maybe the iron chin attached to that massive cranium might give him a shot of KOing Rashad – especially if Rashad backed straight up like he did against Lyoto Machida. Of course this was a long shot. And while Tito put on an impressive show, Rashad, not showing an ounce of cage rust, was on his game and, let’s face it, his game is better and more well-rounded than Tito’s. What’s next for Tito? I dunno. He needs a win or his victory over Bader will be seen as a lucky fluke – fair or not. But for now, I think Tito’s earned himself some time off. Besides, that knee looked like it hurt like a muhfuh.
Despite a laundry list of substitutions and injuries, UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz still made good on their delivery of entertaining fights. Philadelphia saw “age” meet “experience” in the card’s opener. An upcoming middleweight stepped up to the main card to face a veteran in his quest to establish himself in the UFC. Two seasoned fighters in the welterweight division added another notch in their combined 100+ fight career. The co-main event truly played into the phrase, “don’t blink” as two 185lbs. contenders collided. In the main event, two former light heavyweight champions met again after their first fight in 2007, only this time with serious title implications for the victor. Now that all has been said and done, here is a recap of UFC 133’s main card and possible match-ups that could be seen for those who had their hand raised.
UFC 133 is in the books following “Sugar” Rashad Evans’ (16-1-1) “Fight of the Night”-winning TKO victory over “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-9-1). Also victorious were “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (20-9) who dispatched “Sexyama” Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-5) in vintage fashion, Brian Ebersole (41-14-1) who won the battle of weird chest hair vs. tiny Speedos against “Superman” Dennis Hallman (45-14-2), “Costas” Constantinos Philippou (8-2) who won out over tested veteran “El Conquistador” Jorge Rivera (18-9), and “Aries” Rory MacDonald (12-1) who defeated “Quicksand” Mike Pyle (21-7-1) in the main card’s opening bout. However, along with the obvious wins and losses that come on the records, there are the less obvious career implications that follow the night’s events. MMA Gospel is here to explore these moments with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz: Evans via TKO (Knee to the Body and Punches), Round 2, 4:48
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama: Belfort via KO (Punches), Round 1, 1:52
Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole: Ebersole via TKO (Elbows), Round 1, 4:28
Jorge Rivera vs. Constantinos Philippou: Philippou via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle: MacDonald via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:54
The Wells Fargo Center holds the latest installment of MMA action when UFC 133 takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this Saturday night. Opening the main card off, Rory MacDonald (11-1) is set to prove how dangerous he is when he faces submission artist “Quicksand” Mike Pyle (21-6-1). “El Conquistador” Jorge Rivera (18-8) was originally slated to trade hands with “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-8) but will now face Constantinos Philippou (7-2) after the latter suffered an unfortunate ACL injury. Two of the sport’s most seasoned veterans grace the card when “Superman” Dennis Hallman (45-13-2) and “Bad Boy” Brian Ebersole (40-14-1) meet. In the co-main event, “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (19-9) will test his lightning fast hands against the always game Judoka, “Sexyama” Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-4). The night ends with a bang when “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-8-1) steps in on short notice to replace “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (8-0) against “Sugar” Rashad Evans (15-1-1) in the main event. Evans stood in line for the next shot at the 205lbs. belt until injuries set him back, and Ortiz appears to have a second wind in his career. In such a pivotal time for the light heavyweight division, this encore of their 2007 battle could spell out serious title implications for the victor.
UFC 133 comes in full force Saturday night with some of the toughest veterans in its roster as a card headlined by “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-8-1) and “Sugar” Rashad Evans (15-1-1) storms the fighting city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The night starts in the welterweight division with two solid bouts between “Quicksand” Mike Pyle (21-6-1) and “The Water Boy” Rory MacDonald (11-1) and “Superman” Dennis Hallman (45-13-2) and Brian Ebersole (40-14-1). The middleweights then take over with a last minute pairing of “El Conquistador” Jorge Rivera (18-8) and Costantinos Philippou (7-2) and then 185lbs. contenders “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (19-9) and “Sexyama” Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-4) will go to war in the co-main event. Fresh off a pair of disheartening losses, Akiyama and Belfort are looking to get their names back into the title conversation.
The UFC makes its return to the hard nosed streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this Saturday courtesy of UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz. The event has been plagued with injuries beginning with “Mr.Wonderful” Phil Davis (8-0) then “The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5) and lastly “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-8), leaving three fighters without opponents. Former UFC 205lbs. champ “Sugar” Rashad Evans (15-1) will now have his long awaited rematch with fellow former champion and reinvented fighter “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-8). Ortiz steps in to face Evans on three weeks notice coming off his phoenix-style career win over “Darth” Ryan Bader (12-2). Supporting the rematch main event is a battle between top middleweight contenders “Sexyama” Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-4) and perhaps the most lethal striker in the MMA world “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (19-9). “El Conquistador” Jorge Rivera (18-8) will possibly never meet Sakara in their often postponed middleweight showdown and instead he will face Ring of Combat veteran Constantinos Philippou (7-2). “Quicksand” Mike Pyle (21-6) returns to the Octagon against rising Canadian prospect Rory MacDonald (11-1) where a win will likely move the winner up the ladder to higher competition and a chance to reach for UFC gold. Two MMA veterans who have more fights to their credit than anyone in arms reach will go to war in the welterweight division in the main card opening bout as “Superman” Dennis Hallman (45-13) meets fellow veteran Brian Ebersole (40-14) in a fight to see which old dog has learned the most effective new tricks.
Before the bright lights shine down on“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-8-1) and “Sugar” Rashad Evans (15-1-1) at UFC 133 for the second time in their careers, the UFC will treat fans to an exciting card stacked to the hilt with veteran fighters. Middleweight fan favorites “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (19-9) and “Sexyama” Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-4) will fight to get themselves back in the title picture after a pair of heartbreaking losses, “Superman” Dennis Hallman (45-13-2) and the Midwestern brawler Brian Ebersole (40-14-1) will square off at welterweight, and grappling aces “Quicksand” Mike Pyle (21-6-1) and “The Water Boy” Rory MacDonald (11-1) will bring everything they’ve got into the cage. Also appearing on the card are “El Conquistador” Jorge Rivera (18-8) and Costantinos Philippou (7-2), two middleweights who have had the task of rebounding from recent losses made all the more difficult by suffering late replacements in opponents. Rivera, who was brutally KO’d by “The Count” Michael Bisping (21-3) in February, was originally slated to fight “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-8) who had to pull out with a knee injury. Philippou was then pulled from his fight with Rafael Natal (12-3-1), a bout he had already taken on short notice, to replace Sakara.
The UFC returns after a brief hiatus for another trip to the northeastern state of Pennsylvania for UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz this Saturday. The marquis bout of the evening features a rematch between “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-8-1) and “Sugar” Rashad Evans (15-1-1), and the supporting cast includes a wealth of talent from the limbo between contender, prospect, and gatekeeper. In a middleweight tilt, former light heavyweight champion and 185lbs. title contender “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (19-9) will pit his murderous hand speed against the effortless technique of Japanese golden boy “Sexyama” Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-4). Welterweight “Superman” Dennis Hallman (45-13-2) will look for his third straight UFC win against fire hardened veteran Brian Ebersole (40-14-1). “El Conquistador” Jorge Rivera (18-8) will look to get back on track by defeating late replacement Constantinos Philippou (7-2) and starting things off for the evening “Quicksand” Mike Pyle (21-6-1) will meet “The Water Boy” Rory MacDonald (11-1) at 170. The talented and experienced Pyle has a well versed ground assault that is based in his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt. Arrayed against him is the balanced skill set of the young former King of the Cage champion in MacDonald. Both men are looking to make a case that they deserve to challenge the big dogs at welterweight and the result should be a tight, technical ground match where each man hunts for an impressive finish.
Welterweight “Doomsday” John Howard (14-7) and lightweight Andre Winner (12-6-1) are the latest members of the UFC’s roster to have their necks stretched across the Zuffa chopping block. It was announced today that the heavy-handed Boston native Howard and The Ultimate Fighter 9 runner-up from Team Rough House, Winner, have had their last fights inside the UFC Octagon.
“Doomsday” introduced himself to UFC fans worldwide with a four-fight winning streak, taking out opponents such as “The Barn Cat” Tamdan McCrory (11-3) and MMA veteran “Superman” Dennis Hallman (45-13-2). His tear through the UFC’s welterweight division however was put to an abrupt stop by Jake Ellenberger (24-5) in August 2010. Howard followed up his loss to Ellenberger with two more consecutive defeats, the most recent of which was at the hands of “The Immortal” Matt Brown (12-10) in June, prompting the UFC to cut ties with “Doomsday”. Howard announced via his Twitter that he is now looking to sign with Bellator or DREAM, or “whoever makes the best offer”.