Andrew Renneisen / AP
Published Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011 | 5:55 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011 | 8:25 p.m.
Dana White UFC 133 Fireside Chat
Dana White UFC 133 Fireside Chat Part 2
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Case Keefer, Ryan Greene and Ray Brewer spend most of their radio show, which is weekly on Mondays on 91.5 KUNV, discussing this weekend's UFC 133 card in Philadelphia. They also touch on UNLV recruiting at the end.
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PHILADELPHIA — Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort had practically the same two-word message for the mixed martial arts world after their UFC 133 victories — "I'm back."
After a 14-month layoff that involved plenty of drama and a training camp change, Evans looked as impressive as ever Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center. He beat old foe Tito Ortiz by second round TKO. Evans rained down punches on Ortiz and threw a knee to his chest before the referee called off the fight at 4:48 of the round.
Belfort, who fights out of Las Vegas, had an even more emphatic victory. Belfort wobbled Yoshihiro Akiyama in their co-main event welterweight bout with a straight right. He then dropped Akiyama to the ground with a hook and finished the Japanese star off with ground-and-pound strikes. Akiyama was out cold at 1:52 of the first round.
Belfort hadn't endured as much time in between fights as Evans, but was returning from the worst loss of his career. Anderson Silva knocked out Belfort with a front kick in the first round of their UFC 126 title fight.
Now that Belfort's won, he expects the next title shot in the 185-pound division against the winner of the UFC 134 main event between Silva and Yushin Okami. Likewise, Evans is all but confirmed to face the winner of a light heavyweight championship bout between Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson at UFC 135.
Other winners on the main card included Brian Ebersole, Costantinos Philippou and Rory MacDonald. Look below for full results from UFC 133 and come back to lasvegassun.com later for full stories from the event.
Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz
Second Round Ortiz is breathing hard, while Evans is dancing around and looking fresh. Ortiz isn't getting much done on the feet, as Evans seems able to avoid his strikes when he wants. Evans comes in and Ortiz catches him in guillotine not unlike the one that put an end to Bader at UFC 132. Evans pops out after a tense 20 seconds or so and has top position. Evans is in side control and the crowd is still loving this war. Ortiz is in trouble again with Evans raining down strikes. Ortiz's strength can't get Evans off of him. Evans works on a kimura, but doesn't get very far during either attempt. Both men are working hard on the ground, but it's all Evans so far. Ortiz momentarily gets him in a leg lock as Evans tries to slither around, but he's out of it. Evans is up with Ortiz still on his knees. Punches come down on Ortiz, Evans knocks the wind out of his opponent with a knee to the chest and the referee jumps in. Evans wins via TKO at 4:48 of the second round.
First Round "Tito" chants have started, but that's about the only thing through the first minute. Evans and Ortiz are feeling each other out without much contact. Ortiz is pushing the pace more, but Evans is quicker and skipping away. They exchange around the 3:30 mark, but both only land small shots. Ortiz shoots in and gets Rashad to the ground two minutes in, but Evans has his back to the wall and is trying to use it to get up. Ortiz has a leg, though, and isn't letting go despite punches to his face. Evans is up and they break. Evans gets Ortiz up against the fence and tees off. Ortiz is defending himself, but Evans is picking up points. An elbow from Evans is answered by a knee from Ortiz. Evans throws a looping hook, picks up Ortiz and slams him to the ground. Evans is feeling it now with ground-and-pound strikes. Ortiz can't feel good, but he's not seriously hurt either. A 10-9 first round goes to Evans.
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
First Round Vitor goes up top for a head kick to start things. Akiyama blocks it, but the mere thought got the "Let's go Vitor" chants started. They're keeping their distance, but Belfort lands a straight right and another kick to make sure it's not totally devoid of action. Distance is still the story until Belfort comes in with a combination to send Akiyama to his knees. In typical Belfort fashion, he doesn't miss a beat in going after him. Akiyama is out cold less than two minutes into the fight. Belfort wins via TKO at 1:52.
Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole
First Round Hallman rushes in on Ebersole and takes his back within the first 15 seconds. He locks in a body triangle and Ebersole can't feel comfortable at the moment. But Ebersole is doing all he can to keep his chin down so Hallman can't choke him out. Ebersole is tossing punches backwards, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a terrible position for him. Neither guy is doing much, though Hallman has hooks in, and the crowd begins to boo. Hallman's got his first real chance at a choke midway through when Ebersole tries to reverse position. Ebersole is out and punishing Hallman for frustration with ground-and-pound strikes. Ebersole elbows and punches have Hallman in real trouble at the minute mark and the referee jumps in. Hallman is still dazed. Ebersole wins via TKO at 4:28.
Jorge Rivera vs. Costantinos Philippou
Third Round Philippou catches Rivera with another uppercut, but this one doesn't bring him to the ground. Rivera works a couple of his combinations early, but he's going to need more than that to pull out a win here. Philippou gets Rivera to the ground again in top position. They jostle and after a submission attempt, Philippou goes for Rivera's back. It's not meant to be and they're back up against the cage. Philippou gets in a few foot stomps before the action is broken. Back to the ground, where this fight has spent more time than anyone anticipated. Rivera has Philippou against the cage this time and he's using it. Rivera's punches are landing, but Philippou gets back to his feet. No real fireworks to close, but Rivera takes this one 10-9 and loses to Philippou 29-28 on the Las Vegas Sun's scorecard. Costatinos Philippou wins via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).
Second Round A boxing match has broken out, and Philippou drops Rivera 30 seconds in with an uppercut. Rivera looks on the verge of defeat, but scrambles to top position and is pounding away on Philippou's face. Quite a change fortune early here. Both have looked close to losing in the first two minutes of the round. They're back to their feet midway through the round. They take turns dirty boxing, but Philippou has landed more punches than Rivera. Back up against the cage with two minutes to go and Rivera trips Philippou to the ground. Philippou is working on an omoplata, but doesn't quite have the position to pull it off. Rivera is in half guard as the bell rings and Philippou takes another round. He's up 20-18 on the Las Vegas Sun's scorecard.
First Round Jorge Rivera throws a couple leg kicks, but Philippou is able to press him against a cage and turn it into a takedown in short order. Philippou is keeping the pressure on, but Rivera wall-walks his way to his feet. He's still in a bad position up against the cage, but Philippou isn't doing any damage with it. Referee Mario Yamasaki breaks them with around two minutes to go in the round. Rivera seems tentative to let hands go and the fight is right back up against the cage. Rivera reverses positions before they break. He lands a nice straight right and they lock up again. Philippou's strikes are quicker and he's got Rivera backing up. The underdog Philippou takes an uneventful first round, 10-9.
Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle
First Round Both men are keeping their distance early. Pyle trips and goes to the ground, but he makes sure not to get hurt but wildly throwing his legs at the standing MacDonald. He's back to his feet and gets a real takedown. Pyle is out-wrestling the 22-year old phenom two minutes in. MacDonald locks in what looks like a deep standing guillotine, but MacDonald twists his way out to the applause of the crowd. That puts Pyle on his back again, though, and the referee has no intention of letting him up. Pyle goes into his guard and throws some lethal elbows. Those turn into punches and Pyle is out. The referee pulls MacDonald off. MacDonald wins via TKO at 3:54 of first round.
PHILADELPHIA — Summing up each of the UFC 133 featured bouts tonight at the Wells Fargo Center in three words or less is simple — unfinished business, slugfest and veteran vs. newcomer.
Through all the injuries and alterations to the City of Brotherly Love’s first card since UFC 101, those three bouts have still managed to create a noteworthy buzz.
Middleweights Vitor Belfort, who trains in Las Vegas at Xtreme Couture, and Yoshihiro Akiyama will warm up the crowd in a co-main event that’s expected to bring loads of action. Akiyama has fought in the octagon three times and earned Fight of the Night honors in all three.
He’ll have no problem attacking Belfort, who has a tendency to ditch caution and let his hands go if the situation presents itself. Fellow Xtreme Couture fighter Mike Pyle hopes to lock up a victory of his own before Belfort comes to the cage.
The 35-year old Pyle is on a three-fight winning streak, but comes in as an underdog to 22-year old Rory MacDonald tonight.
MacDonald is widely considered the top prospect in the welterweight division, if not the entire UFC, but faltered in his only other contest against a top 170-pounder.
MacDonald was ahead of Carlos Condit with seven seconds remaining at UFC 115 last summer, but lost via TKO.
He rebounded to beat Nate Diaz at UFC 129, but a second loss in three tries would severely stunt his upward rise. Pyle and MacDonald have traded subtle words at each other during the week, surprisingly more than Evans and Ortiz.
Although Evans and Ortiz haven’t gone overboard with trash talk, they gave fans an entertaining weigh-in yesterday and appeared close to shoving each other before UFC President Dana White stepped in.
Stay tuned for live round-by-round coverage of the pay-per-view card, which is expected to begin momentarily, and look below for full results from the preliminary card.
Alexander Gustafsson beat Matt Hamill via TKO at 3:34 of the second round. Gustafsson put Hamill down with an uppercut followed by a right hand and finished him with ground-and-pound strikes shortly after.
Chad Mendes defeated Rani Yahya via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). It wasn't the most exciting fight, but Mendes continually took down Yahya and didn't let him do much. Mendes' undefeated record is intact at 12-0 and he moves closer to a shot at champion Jose Aldo.
Ivan Menjivar won a catchweight (138 pounds) bout over Nick Pace by unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 29-28. Menjivar was able to overcome a late surge from Pace that included two perfectly placed knees to the face. The bout was scheduled as a bantamweight contest, but Menjivar missed weight Friday.
In a battle between two wrestlers, Johny Hendricks eked out a split decision win over Mike Pierce (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). All three judges scored the first round for Hendricks and the third for Pierce, so it came down to the closely contest second. Two of the three judges sided with Hendricks in that stanza.
Mike Brown won a featherweight contest over Nam Phan by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28). The former champion Brown rode a dominant first round, in which he took Phan's back and threw numerous ground-and-pound punches to his face, to victory.
Rafael Natal defeated Paul Bradley via unanimous decision in a middleweight bout (30-27, 29-28, 29-28). Natal out-struck Bradley with both his legs and hands and displayed capable-enough takedown defense to win a decision.