UFC 148 Results & Recap: Anderson Silva is the best

nullNot that many needed convincing, but Anderson Silva is the best fighter in the world.

There was a little bit of doubt in the minds of some due to Silva’s performance against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117, but on Saturday at UFC 148, Silva removed all doubt.

Silva stopped Sonnen at 1:55 into the second round with a barrage of strikes that Sonnen couldn’t respond to, as he defended his UFC Middleweight Championship for the 10th time.

Sonnen won the first round, as he took Silva down quickly and held him down for five minutes, but Silva showed great takedown defense in the second and used his pinpoint accuracy with his striking to end the fight.

With Sonnen past him for good, there really is no viable challengers left to Silva. Sonnen seemed to have the best style to beat Silva, and the champ still ran through him.

Silva is now 15-0 in his UFC career and just adding to his legacy as the greatest UFC fighter of all time. Perhaps a change in weight class is in order to challenge him, or perhaps he should just retire on top of the world.

In the co-main event, Tito Ortiz saw his career come to an end in a unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin.

Ortiz (16-11-1) a former UFC champion and now Hall of Famer, seemed to tire early in the fight, which opened the door for Griffin to pepper him with strikes. Ortiz landed a few big punches and a few takedowns, but Griffin had a 3/1 edge on total strikes and was the more active fighter.

Ortiz is going out at the right time, as he clearly is not among the best in the division and this performance proves it. For knowing it was his last bout, he didn’t have much of a spirited effort to win. For a man of his stature and his talk about being the people’s champion, he sure didn’t go out on his sword.

Griffin didn’t look at that great either, but he was definitely looking to finish the fight at the end.

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Ranking Fedor Emelianenko among the MMA greats

nullLast week, “The Last Emporer” Fedor Emelianenko decided to call it a career following his first round KO win over Pedro Rizzo at a M-1 Global event.

It wasn’t the way many envisioned Fedor stepping away from MMA.

For a man that went undefeated for a 10-year span, Fedor should have been someone that ended his career in a blaze of glory.

Instead, he ended his career on a three-fight win streak over fighters that had passed their prime long before he did.

The lasting images of Fedor seem to be a tapout to Fabricio Werdum, a bloody face at the hands of Antonio Silva, and face-down body thanks to a big hand from Dan Henderson.

There is no shame in Fedor’s losses, as time makes cowards of us all, but we all hoped for greater things from Fedor. Perhaps greater than he could really achieve.

Fedor is following in the footsteps of many MMA legends before him.

There was a time that Tito Ortiz seemed unbeatable in the UFC. Now, he is not even top 10 in the light heavyweight division.

Chuck Liddell was untouchable when he finally won the UFC title, but he soon developed a glass jaw and simply couldn’t beat anyone.

Matt Hughes is still referenced as the greatest welterweight champion in UFC history, but he has not been a title contender for five years.

All of these men should have no shame. Nobody can sustain a level of performance that they achieved for very long.

Even today, the likes of Jon Jones and Anderson Silva appear to be flawless. But, there will be a day when they too must accept the fate of time.

Looking back, it is hard to imagine anyone will have the kind of run Fedor did during the first 10 years of the new millennium. He won 28 fights in that time without a single loss and fought the majority of the top fighters in the heavyweight division at that time. He also did so as an undersized heavyweight.

Anderson Silva has been unbeaten since 2006 and has done so very impressively, but in today’s age of MMA, with fighters evolving so quickly, you have to imagine someone will have his number sooner rather than later.

The same can be said for Jon Jones. A better, younger, and stronger Jon Jones is being built right now in gyms around the world.

Fedor did what few have. He managed to stay ahead of the game for 10 years. It is a feat that may never be repeated. For that reason, it is fair to call him the greatest heavyweight in MMA history and maybe even the greatest fighter in all of MMA history.

UFC Matchmaking update – UFC 140 gets main event

nullLost in a weekend that saw the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinals take place were some big fight announcements from the UFC.

Here is a look at three different UFC events that have added to their cards.

- UFC 140 in Toronto go its main event as heavyweights Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will have their rematch. The two met back at UFC 92 with Mir handing Nogueira his first stoppage loss. Mir KO’d Big Nog in the second round. Nogueira claimed a staph infection hindered his abilities and has been seeking a rematch since. Mir has won his last two fights and looking to get back into the title hunt with a win while Nogueira is coming off his KO win over Brendan Schaub at UFC Rio. UFC 140 also added Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Brian Ebersole vs. Rory MacDonald to the lineup.

- UFC 139 picked up a big fight as middleweight Vitor Belfort will return to action when he takes on former Strikeforce champion, Cung Le. This will be a battle of perhaps the two fastest strikers in all of MMA. Le hasn’t fought since June of 2010, when he KO’d Scott Smith to avenge his only loss. Belfort is coming off a KO win over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133. This fight should come down to which fighter strikes first.

- Jon Fitch will make his long-awaited return to the octagon at UFC 141 when he faces off with Johny Hendricks. Fitch hasn’t competed since February when he had a draw against B.J. Penn. Fitch had shoulder surgery that put him on the shelf for a while. Fitch hasn’t lost since his 2008 title fight with Georges St. Pierre. Hendricks has one loss in his career, to Rick Story back in December of 2010. He has won his last two fights, but is facing the toughest opponent of his career when he squares off with Fitch.

UFC 134 Recap: What’s left for Forrest Griffin

nullOne of the major stories to come out of UFC 134 Saturday night was Forrest Griffin suffering another KO loss, this time to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (AP Photo).

Griffin is now 2-3 in his last five fights, with all three losses coming by knockout.

Griffin didn’t look good at all in the fight, as he attempted some ugly high kicks that were very slow in delivery. His boxing has always been a strength for him, but it didn’t do him any good against Shogun.

Rua was able to tear right through him and leave us with another image of Griffin out of the cage before hands were raised.

Shogun is now back in the light heavyweight title picture while we are left to wonder what is next for the original Ultimate Fighter winner.

In the last few years, Griffin has now lost convincingly to two of the top light heavyweights and the middleweight champion.

His two wins were close decisions over the likes of Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin, who are also lost in the light heavyweight shuffle.

While a third match with Ortiz or a rematch with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson may make sense in terms of dollars, it seems pretty clear that Griffin will never contend for a championship again.

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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UFC 133 Opening Odds: Evans favored over Ortiz

nullUFC 133 will take place this upcoming Saturday, and despite the number of changes in the lineup, the card still has some interesting fights.

Our friends at BetOnFighting.com have released their odds for UFC 133 and there aren’t many surprises.

In the main event, Rashad Evans is a clear favorite at -430 to beat Tito Ortiz, who has a money line of +330. These two fought back at UFC 73 to a draw where Ortiz was penalized a point, or else he would have won the contest.

Still, Evans has evolved a lot over the years and has a great combination of striking and wrestling. Ortiz seems to have a new fire with his submission win over Ryan Bader, but he is taking this fight on very short notice, with just a few weeks to prepare.

In the co-main event, Vitor Belfort is favored at -300 to beat Yoshihiro Akiyama, who has a money line of +240. These two middleweights are fighting for position in the division. Belfort is coming off a KO loss to Anderson Silva while Akiyama hasn’t fought since a decision loss to Michael Bisping last October and is currently on a two-fight losing streak.

For all of the odds available for UFC 133, check out the jump.

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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.