UFC 133 Results & Recap: Evans at his best

nullIt had been 14 months since Rashad Evans (AP Photo) competed inside the UFC Octagon, but clearly he was making the most of his time off.

The former light heavyweight champion looked as good as he ever has in a second round TKO win over Tito Ortiz in the main event of UFC 133 on Saturday.

Evans looked thicker, faster, and smarter in the octagon. His lone hiccup came when he was slightly taken down by Ortiz early in the fight, but he suffered no damage and turned the tide in his favor soon after.

Evans peppered Ortiz with heavy punches in the first round, but Ortiz managed to make the bell.

The dominance continued in the second round, as Evans landed a big slam of Ortiz and then beat on him for a few minutes before ending the fight with a knee to the sternum and a flurry of punches from the ground.

Evans clearly has established himself as the No.1 contender for the UFC title, and now he waits for the Jon Jones-Rampage Jackson winner. I think Evans has a style that could cause Jones a lot of problems, and he already owns a win over Jackson.

For Ortiz, he deserves credit for taking the fight on short notice. But, his performance on Saturday seems to be a better representation of his current abilities in the UFC than his win over Ryan Bader at UFC 132.

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UFC 133 Picks & Predictions

nullUFC 133 takes place on Saturday night from the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia.

The card is somewhat tame for the UFC as of late, but still has some exciting fights.

Here are my picks for the five bouts on the main card.

Light Heavyweight Bout – Rashad Evans (20-1-1) vs. Tito Ortiz (17-8-1) – In this rematch, I like Evans to win. Ortiz is taking the fight on short notice and Evans has evolved much more since their first meeting. Evans should have a striking edge and probably has more explosive takedowns. My pick is for Evans to win by decision.

Middleweight Bout – Vitor Belfort (19-9) vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-3) – Akiyama has a style that could pose problems for Belfort, but I ultimately see Belfort winning by TKO in the second round. Belfort has to stay out of the clinch and off his back, which I think he will find a way to do.

Welterweight Bout – Dennis Hallman (65-13-2) vs. Brian Ebersole (47-14-1) – This is a fight of two war-torn veterans of MMA. Both men have excellent grappling ability and respectable striking. I expect this to be a war, but I ultimately see Hallman coming out on top due to his past competition and experience in the UFC.

Middleweight Bout – Jorge Rivera (18-8) vs. Constantinos Philippou (7-2) – Rivera is a tough guy, but I don’t think he has the skills to really compete at a high level in the UFC. Philippou is unproven, but I expect this hungry fighter to get past Rivera by TKO with some ground and pound in the second round.

Welterweight Bout – Rory MacDonald (11-1) vs. Mike Pyle (21-7-1) – Pyle is a great grappler, but so is MacDonald. I think MacDonald has the better striking and is just the overall more-skilled fighter. Look for the young Canadian to continue to rise up the rankings with a decision win over the one-dimensional Pyle.

  

UFC 133 Weigh-In Results: All main card fighters make weight

nullUFC 133 weigh ins took place on Friday evening and all of the main card fighters made weight for the event.

Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz (AP photo) had an intense stare down following their weigh ins. Evans played the role of the villain to the Philadelphia crowd while Ortiz pandered to the audience by wearing Philadelphia sports clothing. Despite just weighing a pound more at 205.8 to 204.4, Ortiz looks like a much bigger fighter than Evans.

In the co-main event, Vitor Belfort (185.4) and Yoshihiro Akiyama (184.6) made weight for their middleweight contest. The two are battling for position in division with Belfort possibly earning a title shot with an impressive win.

In an interesting contest, welterweights Rory MacDonald (170.6) and Mike Pyle (170.8) had an intense stare down of their own following their weigh ins. Pyle is the veteran looking to upset the promising star in MacDonald.

The lone fighter to not make weight on Friday was bantamweight, Ivan Menjivar, who weighed in at 138 pounds and opted to take the financial hit as opposed to attempt to lose two more pounds.

For complete weigh in results, check out the jump.

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