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.