UFC 133 took place either this evening at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event aired live on pay-per-view at 9pm ET/6pm PT. The pay-per-view broadcast was preceded by prelim specials on Spike TV at 8pm ET/5pm PT and Facebook at 5:45pm ET/2:45pm PT.
In the main event, Tito Ortiz stepped in on short notice to take on Rashad Evans.
In the co-main event, Vitor Belfort looked to rebound from his loss to Anderson Silva against Yoshihiro Akiyama.
Brian Ebersole took on Dennis Hallman in a welterweight bout.
Constantinos Philippou met Jorge Rivera in a middleweight bout.
Mike Pyle took on Rory MacDonald in a welterweight match-up.
Results, recap and bonuses after the jump.
- Rashad Evans def. Tito Ortiz via TKO (Punches) at 4:48 in Round 2
- Vitor Belfort def. Yoshihiro Akiyama via KO (Punches) at 1:52 in Round 1
- Brian Ebersole def. Dennis Hallman via TKO (Punches) at 4:28 in Round 1
- Constantinos Philippou def. Jorge Rivera via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Rory MacDonald def. Mike Pyle via TKO (Punches) at 3:54 in Round 1
- Alexander Gustafsson def. Matt Hamill via TKO (Punches) at 3:34 in Round 2
- 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 “Sapo” Natal def. Paul Bradley via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Recap & Thoughts
Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya: You pretty much get one thing and one thing only when you have Yahya in the cage: slick jiu-jitsu. Conversely, you will get zero wrestling and zero striking prowess – which is kind of Mendes’ bread and butter. Can you guess which fighter’s skill set nullified the other, leaving him toast? For three agonizing rounds the American shrugged off Yahya’s weak takedown attempts and uninspired moves toward submission, racking up points with harder, more accurate punching along the way (and I say agonizing because Mendes was too careful and too gun-shy to win over any fans). The unanimous decision in favor of Mendes when time expired came as a surprise to no one.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Matt Hamill: Once upon a time, in an Octagon far away, there was a deaf wrestler who could toss people around the cage and occasionally, with ever improving standup, knock them out. Unfortunately, that man seems to be gone, and what we have now instead is a Matt Hamill that’s forgotten how to get takedowns and forgotten that there’s more to striking than simply covering up when leather starts flying. Such was the case against gigantic Swede Gustafsson, who ran around the Octagon avoiding Hamill’s clinch attempts throughout Round 1, and who turned up the heat with kicks and punches in Round 2. It was a varied selection of strikes that eventually signaled the end, with Hamill tumbling to the ground, Gustafsson showering him with more fists and some elbows, and referee Dan Miragliotta stepping in at 3:34 of the round.
Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle: Pyle’s first fight was back in 1999; MacDonald was ten-years old in 1999. If those two facts don’t establish the experience vs. youth aspect of this match-up, well, I don’t know what else will. Anyway, tonight experience seemed to matter little when confronted with the unstoppable juggernaut of youthful vitality. As he’s proven time and again to be an ace submission guy, it didn’t take long for Pyle to start going for takedowns. And it didn’t take long for MacDonald to start blasting him – first on the feet, and then, from within Pyle’s guard, on the ground. The end came by way of a serious of stunning fists that found their way through Pyle’s defenses, and referee Kevin Mulhall had seen enough when the clock hit the 3:54 mark.
Jorge Rivera vs. Constantinos Philippou: When you pair up two deadly strikers, you sometimes get something so thrilling that you wet your pants watching it. Sadly, sometimes you get something far less thrilling, and your pants stay dry. Pants were pretty dry throughout the Rivera/Philippou bout, as the two came on strong and rocked each other every once in a while, and then they grew exhausted and unable to do much. Round 1 was pretty even, with Philippou pressing his foe against the cage and firing off knees. He kicked some ass in Round 2, though, dropping Rivera with punches and coming damn close with an omoplata attempt. The momentum died in the final frame, and while Rivera may have scored points by getting Philippou down and pounding on him a bit, the judges felt it wasn’t enough. It was a close fight, but the split decision went to Philippou.
Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman: Maybe he was functioning at a deficit due to his awful apparel choice (seriously, a freakin’ Speedo), but Hallman appeared to lack the ability to finish opponent Ebersole despite smoothly getting him down and gluing himself to his back. And maybe it was the shorts again (a Speedo? Really, dude?), but Hallman seemed to be in a world of hurt when Ebersole escaped and began dropping bombs from within the submission wizard’s guard. Whatever it was, Hallman took a beating, and when it became clear Ebersole was going to eventually put his fist through his skull, the ref stepped in at 4:28 of the first round.
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama: When Belfort is on, his handiwork is a beautiful thing to behold. Coming out his usual coiled-spring self against Akiyama, you had to wonder which Belfort was in the cage – the one who was on or the one who couldn’t quite pull the trigger. Well, after they circled each other briefly and probed each other with non-committal strikes, the Brazilian began to close in on the Japanese fighter, throwing knuckles along the way. When they started to land, Belfort exploded, swarming over Akiyama until Akiyama was slumped face-first on the canvas. The official time of the knockout was 1:52 of the first round. And yes, it was a thing to behold.
Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz: Ortiz may have crushed Ryan Bader recently, but Evans is not Ryan Bader. In the opening seconds of the rematch between the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” and “Sugar”, Ortiz moved forward with confidence in his boxing and the belief that he could take Evans down against the cage. Um, no. Evans avoided going to the ground with uncanny ease, and scooped Ortiz up and dumped him dramatically onto the canvas. From there it was beatdown time, and though Ortiz survived to the bell, he wasn’t quite the same from then on. Round 2 saw Evans on top of his foe from the outset, dropping pain and anguish, and when Ortiz went to his knees en route to regaining his feet, Evans nailed him square in the solar plexus with a knee from hell. That was all she wrote, and the ref called it at 4:48 of the round.
Johny Hendricks vs. Mike Pierce: Hey, two wrestlers striking! It’s a party! For three full rounds these two skilled man-grabbers engaged in a decent, all-out face-punching party, with Pierce landing a few combos here and there and Hendricks adding kicks and knees to the stand-up mix. Neither man really seemed to gain the advantage though, and the margin of victory was so slim, the number of hairs that remained untouched on Hendricks’ beard is likely what earned him the split decision.
Knockout of the Night: Vitor Belfort
Fight of the Night: Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz
Special bonus for getting Dennis Hallman’s speedo off TV: Brian Ebersole