Weidman the clear underdog in rematch with Silva

It didn’t take long for Anderson Silva to change his mind about his fighting future.

Just moments after being knocked out by Chris Weidman in the main event of UF 162, the long-time middleweight champion said he no longer wanted to fight for the title, and a rematch with Weidman wouldn’t be happening.

A week later, the rematch has already been booked.

Weidman will make his first title defense against Silva as the main event of UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas.

The champion, Weidman, is the clear underdog in the rematch, as many feel Silva can beat Weidman as long as he doesn’t clown around.

It is not often that a champion comes into a fight, especially a rematch against an opponent he already beat, as the clear underdog.

Only a few come to mind when it comes to title fights.

Matt Serra vs. Georges St. Pierre at UFC 83: Serra shocked the world by winning the UFC Middlweight Championship, beating GSP at UFC 69, but most looked at the win as a fluke. Serra did little to fight off those opinions in the rematch, as St. Pierre dominated the bout and finished him off with body shots in under 10 minutes.

Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn at UFC 118: Edgar won a controversial decision over Penn at UFC 112 for the UFC Lightweight Championship, and shocked the MMA world just by lasting 25 minutes with Penn. Many expected a motivated Penn to come out and run through Edgar in the rematch, but the opposite happened. Edgar fought a nearly flawless 25 minutes and earned the decisive decision over Penn. It was a fight that put Edgar on the map and forever dethroned Penn as the king of the lightweights.

Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski at UFC 61: It was at UFC 59 that Arlovski looked to be set to successfully defend his UFC Heavyweight Championship against Syliva. He had rocked the challenger with a big hand that sent Sylvia crashing to the mat. However, Sylvia got up, and as Arlovski was in a flurry trying to finish the fight, Sylvia caught Arlovski right on the button and finished him for the shocking comeback win. Months later, the two had the immediate rematch and many expected Arlovski to get the best of Sylvia, but that didn’t happen. In a rather tame fight, Sylvia won a 25-minute decision. Arlovski was too timid and seemed to be afraid of getting knocked out. The former champion never seemed to be the same fighter after losing to Sylvia.

Top 10 Light Heavyweight Rankings

nullI waited a week to release my latest light heavyweight rankings as I wanted to see how the UFC 133 main event turned out.

Rashad Evans did as I expected and beat Tito Ortiz, but his performance was very impressive and it made me consider putting him on top of the list.

You have to consider the quality of opponents that Evans has over Jones. Granted, Jones has been unphased in any fight. But, he also hasn’t fought the best of the best throughout his career.

Still, I left Jones on top for now, but No. 2 is a lot closer than he was a few months ago.

1. Jon Jones (13-1): Jones will defend his UFC championship next month against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, in his biggest fight to date. Jones has yet to face any adversity, but a win over Jackson would prove that he can handle almost anyone in MMA. Wrestling will likely be the key in this one, as I don’t think Jones will want to slug it out with Rampage.

2. Rashad Evans (16-1-1): Evans bulked up in his time away from fighting and he looks like a determined fighter. He seems angry based on what happened with Greg Jackson and Jones, and it seems to have improved his skills as opposed to hurt them. Evans is next in line for a title shot. Only time will tell if he and Jones will finally square off.

3. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-8): Rampage has had some issues away from the cage, having his trainer decided to leave camp over “creative differences.” Still, Rampage says he is ready to go. He will face a fighter unlike anything he has really seen. It will be interesting to see how Rampage plans to attack Jones at UFC 135.

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Ortiz vs. Evans II set as UFC 133 main event

nullOn second thought, why not?

Tito Ortiz (AP Photo) had a change of heart, and has elected to fill in for Phil Davis at UFC 133 and face Rashad Evans in the main event, according to MMAFighting.com.

It was the fight that Tito Ortiz simply couldn’t be talked into…until he was. Less than 24 hours after explaining via Twitter that he had turned down the fight because he had “a life and things to take care of,” Ortiz was in against Rashad Evans at UFC 133 according to a tweet from UFC president Dana White.

“Get ready philly for Rashad Evans vs Tito Ortiz!!! Aug 6th LIVE on PPV at the Wells Fargo Center!!!!!!” White wrote at around 7:30 pm ET.

Ortiz’s Twitter response was a more muted one some fifteen minutes before, as he wrote simply, “Only for the UFC!”

The move ended a furious day’s worth of speculation about who would fill in for the injured Phil Davis on short notice, with both Ortiz and former UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida reportedly turning down the fight.

This will be a rematch of a draw that took place back at UFC 73. Ortiz was penalized a point for holding on to the cage during one of the rounds, otherwise he might have scored a win over Evans.

Davis injured, UFC working toward Evans vs. Machida II for UFC 133

nullWell, another main event has bit the dust for the UFC.

According to MMAFighting.com, Davis suffered a knee injury and he will have to pull out of the planned fight with Rashad Evans at UFC 133 on Aug. 6.

The UFC has been scurrying to find a replacement with Tito Ortiz apparently turning down an offer to take the fight.

MMAFighting.com originally reported that Lyoto Machida was taking the fight, but that has not been made official and the site has since retracted its story.

Still, the UFC is hoping it can land Machida for this fight, which would be an upgrade from the Evans-Davis fight. The real question will be if Machida can, and is willing, to take the fight on short notice.

Machida dominated Evans in their first meeting at UFC 98, as he took the light heavyweight title from Evans.

MMA Game Changers: Rashad Evans

nullIt’s easy to bring up the word game changer and think of one man in the light heavyweight division.

The obvious answer is current champion, Jon Jones.

But, while Jones still has a few questions to answer, one man that truly changed the landscape of the division is Rashad Evans.

The winner of Season 2 of the Ultimate Fighter, Evans is a fighter that puts together a unique combination of elite-level wrestling and devastating striking.

Evans more represents today’s growing crop of MMA stars than any other in the UFC, especially in the light heavyweight division.

Evans started as a wrestler, coming off a successful collegiate career at Michigan State University, but as he evolved in the UFC, he became one of the top knockout artists in the organization.

His head kick KO of Sean Salmon put Evans on the map, but his brutal right hand KO of Chuck Liddell back at UFC 88 is what truly signified a new time in the UFC.

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