UFC 133: Round-by-round coverage
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Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans
Tito is out first to "Cinderella Man." They definitely have the best possible scenario here if here if he wins. Great MMA story. Rashad Evans has a chance to earn wins over two UFC Hall of Famers if he can get the win tonight. The other: "The Iceman" Chuck Liddell.
Dan Miragliotta is the referee for the main event. Body kick from Ortiz misses. Evans gets two inside while Ortiz misses. Big right from Ortiz forces Evans to his right. Evans loads up the big right, but Ortiz clinches for a moment before circling away. Ortiz shoots and gets Evans down to his butt. Ortiz eats short hooks while controlling Evans against the cage. Evans gets up and free and starts unleashing bombs onto the arms and gloves of Ortiz. Evans picks Ortiz up on his shoulder and slams him hard to the mat. Ortiz covers up and prevents himself from being stopped. Evans has Ortiz bundle up against the fence as the ends.
Ortiz pursues Evans across the cage, but nothing comes of it. Both men are still feeling one another out when Evans tries to shoot in. Ortiz grabs the guillotine and is working for the submission, but Evans pops his head free. Evans is in side control and is hitting lefts to the head. Ortiz tries to get out of side control, but Evans temporarily gets a crucifix position. Ortiz fights free, but Evans still has Ortiz on his back. Ortiz gives up his back and rolls through to grab Evans’ leg, but Evans spins free. Big knee to the body on Ortiz, who is kneeling on the mat. Ortiz falls to his stomach and eats huge right hooks before the fight is called by referee Dan Miragliotta.
Winner: Rashad Evans by TKO (punches, 4:48 of Round 2)
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
The co-main event is up already and Yoshihiro Akiyama comes out to a big ovation. Watching Vitor Belfort walk out was pretty awesome, as well. Knock two more off the "fighters to see in my lifetime" list.
Touch of gloves to start the round. Leg kicks at the same time. High kick from Belfort misses. Sexyama throws the jab out to test Belfort. Head kick from Belfort is blocked. Left front kick from Akiyama misses. Belfort throws out a huge left that levels Akiyama. Belfort pounces and lands another big shot that hurts Akiyama. Akiyama tries to recover and spins away, but takes another (similar to the punch that Dan Henderson used to put Fedor out) and Yoshihiro Akiyama is done.
Winner: Vitor Belfort by knockout (1:52 of Round 1)
Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman
Dennis Hallman comes out to "We Didn’t Start the Fire," but then he reveals a man hammock. Everyone in the Wells Fargo Center is a bit uncomfortable.
Head kick by Hallman is blocked and he immediately takes Ebersole’s back. Body triangle by Hallman. Hallman still has hooks in and begins to land right hooks from behind as an "ECW" chant breaks out behind press row. Ebersole tries to explode out, but ends up pressing Hallman against the cage with his head in a guillotine. Ebersole lands an elbow while postured. Ebersole begins to drop bigger elbows that threaten to end the fight. The ref steps in to stop the fight when Hallman takes another big elbow and his eyes roll back.
Winner: Brian Ebersole by TKO (strikes, 4:28 of Round 1)
Costa Phillipou vs. Jorge Rivera
Phillipou presses Rivera against the fence. Costa goes down and gets the takedown. Rivera eats some short hooks as he tries to press his back against the wall and walk up. Rivera is finally able to get up after a minute on the mat. Referee Mario Yamasaki restarts the action in the center of the cage after a prolonged period of inaction. Rivera misses on two hooks and Phillipou gets Rivera against the cage. Rivera reverses positions and sends two knees to the body before shoving Costa away. Left-right combo connect for Rivera. Rivera follows Costa in and holds him against the cage. Rivera ducks two hooks and lands a body kick. Rivera avoids two punches and is pushed against the cage.
Rivera avoids some early strikes from Phillipou, but is tagged and has to cover up. Phillipou comes in hard and is landing strikes on the gloves of Rivera. Rivera rides out the danger and reverses position against the fence, threatening with punches of his own. Phillipou begins to get back to his feet and is able to press Rivera against the cage. Both men separate after a footstomp from Phillipou. Phillipou misses wildly on a punch, but leans into Rivera on the cage. The ref separates the two fighters and Rivera gets a takedown. Phillipou works for an omoplata but Rivera is defending it well. Over a minute goes by in the position before Phillipou gives it up and rolls through into half guard and the round ends.
Knee to the body from Rivera. Rivera in pursuit; he misses a big high kick and falls to the mat. Rivera lands two big punches. Phillipou is "on the ropes," but is able to reverse positions and get a takedown. Rivera works for a submission from the bottom, but Phillipou gets free and Rivera eventually ends up on his feet. Phillipou puts Rivera on the fence again, hitting him with footstomps. Referee Mario Yamasaki separates the fighters and they end up on the fence again, but with Rivera in control. Phillipou gets back to his feet and puts Rivera to the cage wall.
10-9 Rivera (Inside Fights has it 29-28 for Costa Phillipou)
Winner: Costa Phillipou by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Mike Pyle vs. Rory MacDonald
Great entrances as Pyle enters to "Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky and MacDonald comes out to "U Can’t Touch This." If this trend continues, Tito Ortiz will surely come out to "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO. Someone should.
MacDonald catches a kick at the 30-second mark and while Pyle is on his back, he levels a kick to his thigh. Pyle shoots through for a takedown. MacDonald tries to secure the neck but Pyle works his way free. MacDonald is back on his feet, but Pyle grinds hard to get him down onto all fours. MacDonald gets up and rocks Pyle with a punch. Pyle tries to shoot, but MacDonald grabs the neck. Pyle is able to spin free as MacDonald tries to tighten up. MacDonald gets a big shot on Pyle while postured up. Pyle rolls over onto his stomach and MacDonald hammers him with big elbows. Pyle turns his head and eats several big punches from the side position before the fight is stopped.
Winner: Rory MacDonald by TKO (strikes, 3:54 of Round 1)
Matt Hamill vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Hamill starts the round by chasing the taller Gustafsson around the cage. Jab lands clean from Hamill. Body punch from Gustaffson. Gustafsson swings wildly and gets tagged by a right from Hamill. Gustafsson eats a punch from "The Hammer. " Big right from Gustaffson connects. Left hand from Hamill connects on a counter. Hamill tries for a takedown, but it’s scouted by Gustafsson. Two big shots from Gustafsson land on the takedown attempt.
Gustafsson comes out on fire and gets shots in against Hamill on the fence. Gustafsson continues to time Hamill’s attempts to get inside for a takedown and lands short uppercuts. Left hook from Hamill misses. Gustafsson fires another shot that drops Hamill after staggering him with several short hooks. Back-to-back uppercuts are what leveled him and he’s on the mat now turtling up. Gustafsson lines up some big shots and Hamill offers up his back, but Gustafsson rolls Hamill to his back and levels him with elbows that he barely handles. Big punches from the mount force referee Dan Miragliotta to step in and stop the fight.
Winner: Alexander Gustafsson by TKO (strikes, 3:34 of Round 2)
Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya
Among the first action, Mendes hits a big groin kick on Yahya. Mendes continues to work that inside leg kick. Yahya thorws a combination that misses. Mendes stuffs a takedown by Yahya. Yahya comes at Mendes, but he is just tossed aside. Big series of punches from Mendes. Yahya misses a takedown that Mendes just steps back to avoid. Superman attempt by Yahya, but Mendes counters. Yahya comes in, but Mendes grabs both legs and dumps him, landing a huge right as he goes to a knee. Mendes comes in with a flying knee and a hook, but Yahya steers clear at the end of Round 1.
Yahya comes out swinging wildly and gets dumped hard with a takedown. Mendes holds him down for a short spell before backing out of Yahya’s guard. Back on their feet Yahya lands a big leg kick. Both fighters circle for around a minute before a big uppercut to the body lands for Mendes. Takedown for Mendes, but as Yahya begins to work on the arm, Mendes pulls free and back to his feet. Yahya swings wildly on a hook. Mendes ducks another punch attempt. As Yahya lands an outside leg kick, Mendes connects with a punch. Big hook lands for Mendes. Left uppercut lands for Mendes. Yahya pursues Mendes with a combination, but cannot get it. The two fighters end the round with a lack of combinations. Yahya has been swinging wildly this round.
Mendes shoots in and gets a double leg takedown. Mendes controls Yahya on the mat. Yahya is working in mission control, but is hammered to the position go. Yahya tries for a submission, but Mendes pulls free and is back to his feet. Another takedown Mendes, as he postures up to strike, Yahya is striking with leg kicks. Mendes is back into Yahya’s guard, but he gets out. Yahya catches a kick and lands a punch. Yahya is finding openings now, but with only 20 seconds to go, he’s put down again from a takedown. In a last ditch attempt at taking Yahya’s back, Mendes does a front flip over his opponent and takes his back at the horn.
10-9 Mendes (Inside Fights has it 30-27 for Chad Mendes)
Winner: Chad Mendes by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nick Pace vs. Ivan Menjivar
Menjivar comes out with combinations early. Pace eats a big knee to the body and ties up Menjivar. Punch to the chest from Pace. Kick to the cup from Menjivar earns a quick stoppage for Pace. Both men come out striking, but nothing lands. Big right from Menjivar misses and Pace is able to take Menjivar down. Pace is working hard and ends up on Menjivar’s back. The crowd comes to life and Menjivar stands up, carrying Pace’s weight on his feet. Pace locks up a choke, but Menjivar is able to pry his hands free. Menjivar elbows Pace’s legs to get him off of his back. Menjivar begins to press forward toward his opponent, but the round comes to a close.
Leg kick from Menjivar to start. Pace responds with one of his own. Body kicks are exchanged from each fighter. Menjivar is the aggressor in the round thus far, connecting with several strong combinations and body shots. Menjivar lands a spinning back kick to the body against the fence. Menjivar has really settled into a groove. Muay Thai clinch from Menjivar and Pace covers up for several big knees. Pace is able to catch a kick and get Menjivar to his back. Pace is tied up in half guard, but has pinned Ivan’s right arm on the mat with his leg. Menjivar is able to get his arms free, but the round ends with several short punches from the top.
Body kicks to start from Menjivar. Big hook misses from Menjivar. Menjivar ducks a left hook from Pace and avoids a takedown. Leg kick from Menjivar connects. Leg kick again lands on Pace. Strong body kick connects. Pace gets a quick respite after an accidental groin kick. Pace comes out more aggressive on the restart. Menjivar looks to have gotten hit in the eye and is circling away quickly. Spinning backfist from Pace just misses. Pace is hunting Menjivar who obviously cannot see out of his eye. Pace isn’t able to finish and the round ends.
10-9 Pace (Inside Fights has it 29-28 Pace for the fight)
Winner: Ivan Menjivar by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Johny Hendricks vs. Mike Pierce
Head kick from Hendricks is blocked and Pierce retaliates with one of his own, also blocked. Thai plum from Hendricks but the knees miss. Hendricks presses Pierce against the fence, and as they separate, are locked in a body lock. Both men land alternating leg kicks. Thai clinch and a knee to the body from Hendricks, but Pierce ties him up. Hendricks gets a takedown, but Pierce lands face down and is able to get back to his feet. Head kick from Hendricks is blocked. Pierce avoids a combination from Hendricks, but is smothered against the fence. Pierce, however, is able to land several short knees to Hendricks’ body. Short elbow to the face by Hendricks, who escapes. Chael Sonnen is pretty quiet in Pierce’s corner. Another Thai clinch from Hendricks but nothing lands as the round is over.
Pierce the aggressor early, charging and getting Hendricks on his heels early. Hendricks avoids several early strikes, but ends up being worked against the fence. The referee, Mario Yamasaki, separates the fighters and Hendricks eats a punch and Pierce takes his head. Hendricks begins to let his hands go in the clinch and tags Pierce in the body. Several big outside hooks from Hendricks that partially land before he launches a big head kick that is blocked. Hendricks shoots in and works for a takedown, but Pierce is able to stay on his feet to end the round.
Pierce comes out on fire again to start the round. Hendricks is able to escape his wrath, but ends up against the fence with just over half the round to go. Pierce works the body with dirty boxing before getting a takedown on Hendricks. Pierce is caught in full guard and is unable to posture up to land anything as of yet. Pierce lands an elbow on the mat, but Hendricks explodes and pushes him off. On the way out, Pierce eats a foot that Yamasaki stops the fight over. Replays show that it was too close to call it an illegal blow. On the restart, Hendricks shoots in for the takedown
10-9 Hendricks (Inside Fights has it 29-28 for Johny Hendricks)
Winner: Johny Hendricks by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Nam Phan vs. Mike Brown
Brown mixes it up with big overhand rights that miss. Phan fights out of the first takedown attempt of the fight. Phan pushes Brown across the cage with jabs that don’t land. Brown shoots for another takedown and gets Phan’s back, dragging him onto the mat with Brown on Nam’s back. Brown controls the back and rains punches down on the side of Phan’s head and up under his arms with short uppercuts. Brown controls the right arm of Phan and makes him defend short hooks with only his left arm. Phan is working his right hand free and eats big back elbow from Brown as he gets back to his feet. The crowd shows its respect for Phan for continue right before Brown drags him to his back again.
Brown shoots for a takedown, but it’s stuffed against the cage. Brown gets torn up by several combos as Phan begins to let his hands fly. Phan working big hooks and body punches on Brown, who shoots for a takedown that gets Phan against the fence. Brown gets both ankles on Phan and pulls him to the mat, but Phan bounces back up. Brown tries to slam Phan, but he spins away. Brown tries for the big overhand right again, but Phan counters with a left hook to the body. Body kick from Phan after several great head and body combos from Phan. Brown grabs the single-leg and pushes Phan against the fence, but he gets free and both men take the center of the cage. Short uppercut by Brown misses.
Phan comes out on fire, he needs to finish. There’s an urgency to his attacks. Brown weathers a storm and shoots in. Phan tries to circle out, but is dragged to his butt. Brown lets him out and both men are back in the center of the cage. Brown is headhunting with big hooks and Phan tries to counter before a shot partially blocked. Phan gets free with half of the round gone by. Brown appears to be striking as a prelude to something bigger; he shoots for a takedown again but it is stuffed. Phan lands a strong left, but cannot follow up. Brown gets a grip on Phan and presses him against the fence, Phan isn’t being taken down this time and the round, and fight, end.
10-9 Brown (Inside Fights has it 29-27 for Brown)
Winner: Mike Brown by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Paul Bradley vs. Rafael Natal
Jab from Natal connects, and Bradley comes in with a combo. Another combo from Bradley puts Natal against the fence, but he circles away. Leg kick from Natal. Big left hook from Bradley misses. Blood is trickling from Bradley’s nostril. Bradley comes into Natal with a big combination of punches. Natal goes for another leg kick, having connected on several in the last minute, but Bradley nearly catches it. Bradley charges in for a takedown that is spun. Inside leg kick from Natal is half caught and Bradley comes in with a flurry. The round ends with neither fighter pushing the pace.
Big flurry from Bradley connects. Natal is stumbling. Rafael Natal attempts to regain his feet, but is staggered back to the fence again as Bradley presses. Bradley shoots in and gets a big takedown. Bradley works in the half guard for a minute, landing strong strikes, but he’s never able to move to a more advantageous position. Bradley backs out and both men are back on their feet. Natal connects with a wild combo after a leg kick is checked by Bradley. Natal switches stances and ducks a hook from Bradley. The fighters begin to exchange: leg kicks from Natal and missed hooks and punches from Bradley. A finger to the eye of Bradley halts the fight momentarily. On the restart, Natal strikes with a leg kick that Bradley catches and drives through for the takedown. He maintains his dominant position with short strikes as the round concludes.
Natal comes in with a strike that misses and Bradley lands a hook that wobbles Natal, but doesn’t drop him. Natal gets composed and lands an inside leg kick. Bradley’s legs are welting up very badly from the leg strikes. Bradley is fortunate as he ducks under a huge spinning backfist attempt. Natal spins Bradley against the fence after he stuffs a takedown attempt but backs away and retakes the center of the Octagon. Bradley shoots for a double leg and gets Natal against the fence. The ref separates the two fighters and they’re back on their feet. Bradley takes what looks like another poke to the eye and responds by ducking a strike and taking Natal down. Natal works back to his feet. Bradley gets his hands back on Natal and presses him against the fence for 30 seconds before backing away. The fighters circle before the round ends.
Natal defeats Bradley via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)