Evans shines, Akiyama doesn't, more
UFC 133 became all about salvation the moment Jon Jones withdrew from his title defense with Rashad Evans with a hand injury. It nearly became a throwaway card when Jones' replacement, Phil Davis, went down with an injury too.
Then the casualties began stacking up. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and by extension Rich Franklin. Then Vladimir Matyushenko, who was briefly in the running for the main event spot. Then Alessio Sakara tears his ACL ahead of what has become the most tainted pairing in Zuffa history against Jorge Rivera (Rivera remained on the card and fought the most dreaded name in the media guide, Constantinos Philippou. It's a spelling nightmare.)
In the end, the card will go down as a forgettable event for most, even with (or specifically because of) Dennis Hallman's tight blue skivvies. There weren't any big surprises. Most of the favorites won. The first five fights on the card went to decisions (which incurred Philly's wrath) and the past five fights were finishes (which incurred Philly's wrath). In other words, pretty predictable stuff.
Five new storylines
Five new questions
Q: Does Mike Brown have a second round problem?
A: If you look at his performances against Diego Nunes and Nam Phan, there's one glaring similarity. He dominates the first round, and looks spent in the second. (He faded also against Rani Yahya). This time he held on to beat Phan after what looked like a 10-8 first round, but it's not a trend he can foster if he wants to be a champion again.
Q: Is it time to feed MacDonald to a contender?
A: A lot of people were pairing the barely-old-enough-to-drink Rory MacDonald with Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck after he whupped Mike Pyle. Will he get one of these long-time welterweight commodities? Probably. The UFC doesn't abide by the "bring them up slowly" ideology as much as people like to think.
Q: Are Tito Ortiz's days of being a contender over?
A: Yes. He beat Ryan Bader with his back against the wall, and took the Rashad Evans fight on short notice in hopes that it would expedite things. It didn't, and now he's back in the common lottery of mid-tier 205ers.
Q: Is the new Rashad Evans that much better than the old?
A: There was a time when Rashad Evans was more of a reactive counter-puncher who used his wrestling to finagle points. These days he is more apt to bring it. Even after 14 months out of the cage, his poise against Ortiz was unsettling. The showdown against Jon Jones looms large.
Q: Is Vitor Belfort ready for another title shot?
A: He was called "vintage" enough to feel like a butterfly collar against Akiyama, but the nature of his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 126 doesn't exactly inspire notions of an immediate title shot. Everybody knows this except Belfort, who was making the case for it. He'll have to get through at least one and probably two more guys before that happens.
The winners and losers of UFC 133
With UFC 133 in the books, here's a look at who turned in award-worthy performances on Saturday night in Philadelphia. Certificates and puffy stickers are in the mail, gentlemen.
Who's trending after UFC 133?
White Has The Last Word
UFC 133 By The Numbers
Rashad Evans Longest Layoffs of UFC Career
|2010-11||434||W, Tito Ortiz|
|2007-08||294||W, Chuck Liddell|
|2009-10||224||W, Thiago Silva|
Most Wins at 205 Pounds (UFC)
Most Wins at 205 (Since TUF 2)
|*Made debut at TUF 2 Finale|
Most Bouts in UFC History
Most Losses in UFC History
Former UFC LHW Champions With Chance to Reclaim LHW Title
|2006||Tito Ortiz||L, Chuck Liddell|
|2006||Randy Couture||L, Chuck Liddell|
|2004||Randy Couture||W, Vitor Belfort|
Fighters to Win Multiple UFC Titles
|Randy Couture||LHW (2x), HW (3x)|
|BJ Penn||LW, WW|
|Matt Hughes||WW (2x)|
|Georges St-Pierre||WW (2x)|
|Tim Sylvia||HW (2x)|
From Gridiron To Steel Cage
I never lived the life of a fighter; I only did eight-week camps. That's about it. This time I was in camp for four months straight. And it paid off." -- Rashad Evans, on giving props to a revamped camp -- and a poke at his old training grounds
"For the first time ever I'm giving out a "Thanks for getting those horrifying shorts off of TV as soon as possible" bonus -- and I'm not joking. Brian Ebersole gets $70,000, too." -- Dana White, on the new end of the night TFGTHSOOTVASAP award
"[Jones] has a tough fight with Rampage -- Rampage does move like Frankenstein and he's not what he used to be in some areas -- but if he does catch him, he could put him to sleep." -- Rashad Evans, on Jon Jones having to get through a lab experiment before he gets to Jones
"You know, it's obviously one of them stories that's going to stick out for a long time. And the longer I fight, the less stories I'm probably going to remember. Hopefully that will be one I can tell the grandkids and have a laugh about. I was surprised he tried to beat me at my own game in the humor and the showmanship and all that. I know he's been around a long time and I haven't seen him do anything like that. So yeah, I was a bit surprised." -- Brian Ebersole on Dennis Hallman's fight trunks. He hasn't seen anything like that from Hallman? He might want to Google "Robin Phoenix."