UFC 133 found itself in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love; a city rich with stories of the underdog rising to the occasion and somehow coming out victorious.  The event took place at the Wells Fargo Center and the main card was live via pay-per view.  In traditional UFC fashion, the preliminary fights were aired on both Facebook and Spike TV.  The event offered fight fans 11 fights and was headlined by a rematch between two top contenders in the light heavyweight division, Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans.

Evans TKO’s Ortiz in route to a title shot

The fight started with the two men coming to the center of the Octagon.  Ortiz stormed to the center looking to engage, while Evans came out with a little dance in his step, looking very calm and relaxed.  Ortiz threw an immediate high kick, but both fighters looked to find their range, pawing out jabs and throwing the occasional combination.  Ortiz began to push the action and looked to engage.  Ortiz eventually would secure a takedown, but was unable to do anything with it.  Evans was able to work his way back to his feet and both fighters began to exchange punches.  Evans was able to get the better of the exchanges, which marked the beginning of the end for Ortiz.

Evans began to pick Ortiz apart, punishing him with shots to the body and head.  Ortiz was able to survive the first round, but he was definitely dazed.  In the second round, Ortiz fans had a moment to cheer when he momentarily had Evans in a guillotine choke, but ultimately was unable to submit Evans.  Evans popped his head out and began to dominate Ortiz.  Evans controlled Ortiz, dished out some ground-and-pound and eventually finished the fight in second frame with a devastating knee to Ortiz’s chest that sent him to the canvas and after a few punches the ref was forced to stop the fight.

Belfort makes quick work of Akiyama

After both fighters touched gloves in the middle of the Octagon, Vitor Belfort began his systematic destruction of Yoshihiro Akiyama.  Belfort was able to get off first and once he connected with the first punch he never stopped throwing until Akiyama was face-first down on the canvas.  Akiyama offered very little by way of offense or defense in this fight, as he was completely overwhelmed from the start.

Ebersole dominates Hallman

Brian Ebersole stated in his prefight interview that he does not have a strong submission game off of his back, but if he gets top position he will rain down punches and elbows and be able to finish the fight and he was right.

Dennis Hallman came out and threw a head kick, chased Ebersole down, jumped on his back and wrestled him to the mat.  For the next few minutes, Hallman attempted to work a submission and Ebersole worked diligently to defend.

Ebersole stayed calm and relaxed and was able to reverse position.  Once he was on top, Ebersole completely dominated Hallman, bashing his head with numerous punches, elbows and forearms that eventually forced the ref to step in and stop the fight.

Philippou outlasts Rivera, wins a split decision

This fight was billed as a battle between two of the best strikers in the middleweight division and it did not disappoint.  Both fighters stood toe-to-toe and battled it out for three rounds.

Both fighters had opportunities to take this fight over, but it was Costa Philippou who was able to hurt Jorge Rivera in the second round and capitalize on his opportunity.  Though he was not able to get the finish, he did do enough to win the split decision.

This fight went back and forth and, even after being rocked in the second round, Rivera was able to battle back and land his own punishing shots that had Philippou wobbled, but in the end he could not do enough to earn the victory.

MacDonald walks through Pyle

Rory MacDonald continues to make waves in the welterweight division by dominating his competition.  MacDonald was able to make quick work of Mike Pyle earning a first-round TKO.

As the fight started, both men looked to close the distance and find their range.  MacDonald caught a kick and was able to drop Pyle to the mat.  From there, MacDonald punished Pyle’s legs with kicks.

Pyle was able to get up and the two fighters began to throw punches again. Pyle worked MacDonald up against the cage and was able to secure a takedown.

After a few scrambles and working back to his feet, MacDonald nearly ripped Pyle’s head off going for a standing guillotine choke.  MacDonald then jumped into Pyle’s guard and began his ground-and-pound assault that forced the referee to stop the fight.

FULL RESULTS
  • Rashad Evans def. Tito Ortiz via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:48
  • Vitor Belfort def. Yoshihiro Akiyama via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:52
  • Brian Ebersole def. Dennis Hallman via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:28
  • Constantinos Philippou def. Jorge Rivera via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Rory MacDonald def. Mike Pyle via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:54
  • Alexander Gustafsson def. Matt Hamill via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:34
  • Chad Mendes def. Rani Yahya via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ivan Menjivar def. Nick Pace via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Johny Hendricks def. Mike Pierce via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Mike Brown def. Nam Phan via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Rafael Natal def. Paul Bradley via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Photo: Rashad Evans (Rob Tatum/Bleacher Report)