UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz – Predictions

UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz will if anything else prove to be one of the more diverse cards, if by default.

For those of you who have been following this UFC event, then you already know that very early on, there were to be some completely different fighters involved in this pay-per-view.

As luck – or lack thereof – would have it, the injury bug hit. As a result, the fight card changed completely.

Jon Jones was to face Rashad Evans in the main event, but an injury sidelined Jones; however, Phil Davis was to replace him for this bout. In July, Davis had to pull out because of a knee injury suffered during training. Subsequently, Tito Ortiz stepped up to the plate and will now challenge Evans in this light-heavyweight fight.

Several other fighters (Nick Pace, Jose Aldo, Riki Fukuda, Vladimir Matyushenko, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Rich Franklin, Rafael Natal, Alessio Sakara and Ivan Menjivar) were replaced or shuffled around on the UFC 133 fight card due to injury and/or other reasons.

Nevertheless, there is an official 11-bout event that will take place on Saturday, August 6 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, with the main event featuring Ortiz taking on Evans in a non-title matchup.

With that in mind, I will once again stick my neck out there and predict all eleven matchups for UFC 133; in the words of UFC play-by-play man Mike Goldberg. “Here we go!!”:

Preliminary card (FACEBOOK):

Rafael Natal vs. Paul Bradley

We’re talking about two different skill-sets here in this matchup as Natal is a BJJ specialist while Bradley, a Strikeforce and The Ultimate Fighter veteran, is a bit more well-rounded.

I would have to give the edge here to Natal as I usually will favor a BJJ artist over a fighter is good at a lot of things and not proficient in one particular fighting discipline. Suffice it to say, this bout will not last very long. Natal by submission, mid-2nd round

Mike Brown vs. Nam Phan

Without a doubt, this is an important – and arguably a must-win – fight for Brown as he has lost three of his last 4 bouts. The same could probably be said for Phan, who also has lost three of his last 4.

Brown, who fights out of American Top Team, is a wrestler/boxer/BJJ specialist while Phan is well-versed in several fighting disciplines. What I expect from this bout is a fight that should remain on the mat for however long the bout lasts.

Because of the diverse fighting styles of both fighters, I expect this one to go to the judges a sneither combatant will stand out during their 9 minutes in the Octagon. Phan by unanimous decision

Johny Hendricks vs. Mike Pierce

This welterweight fight pits a wrestler/boxer (Hendricks) against a wrestler (Pierce). And you know what that means: A stand-up bout with some bombs being traded between these two fighters.

As is usually the case with a pair of wrestlers who fight standing up exclusively, the fight ends early, which will be the case here. I like Hendricks because of his cardio and the fact that he is part of Team Takedown. Hendricks by TKO, late-1st round

Ivan Menjivar vs. Nick Pace

This fight will be unusual as this will be a catchweight (138-lb) affair. Menjivar is proficient in four disciplines (boxing/BJJ/muay thai/wrestling) while Pace tends to lean towards mat wrestling (jack of all trades and master of none).

One thing that I discovered early on is that when a fighter accepts a fight on short notice, they usually lose that bout (Charlie Brenneman being an exception). If there was such a category as “Most Boring Fight”, this one could qualify as such.

One thing that is certain is that this one will go to the judges as the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center will be unusually harsh (this is Philadelphia, after all – remember, Eagles fans booed Santa Claus at their venue). Menjivar by unanimous decision

Preliminary card (SPIKE TV):

Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya

Mendes is a wrestler and striker, pure simple. Yahya, on the flip side, is a BJJ specialist. In other words, two polar opposite fighting styles. What uisually happens in bouts like these is an early stoppage.

This fight should be short and sweet as Mendes will at some point of this bout bring Yahya to the ground and pound him into the mat. This one will end early. My pick for Knockout of the Night. Mendes by TKO, early-2nd round

Matt Hamill vs. Alexander Gustafsson

Don’t let Hamill’s 10-3 record fool you. He’s slayed some heavy-hitters along that path (Tim Boetsch, Mark Munoz, Keith Jardine), so that record can be a bit misleading. Gustafsson’s style of fighting is completely different than Hamill’s (boxing/Shooto/BJJ).

One thing will be discovered during this bout: Hamill’s chin will be tested early and often. Bombs will fly, yet unfortunately, this bout will go to the judges – but not because of a lack of action. Could very well be the bloodiest bout on the card. Hamill by unanimous decision

Main card

Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle

You’ve gotta love a welterweight scrap that pits a well-rounded fighter (MacDonald) against a submission specialist (Pyle). This one should end early only because of the two combatants’ fighting styles. The way that MacDonald fights in the cage tends to suggest to me that this one ends as a submission victory and susequently a Submission of the Night candidate. MacDonald by submission, early-3rd round

Jorge Rivera vs. Costantinos Philippou

This one’s gonna be a slugfest, if Rivera has anything to say about it. Also keep in mind that he is 39 years old. Granted, Randy Couture won some fights at that age, but Rivera has hinted at retirement. Meanwhile, Philippou is a heavy-handed fighter, as well.

Bouts like this one where fighters are shuffled around tend to suggest that this one could go either way; but for sentimental reasons, I expect Rivera to hand Phillippou his 2nd straight UFC loss. Rivera by TKO, mid-2nd round

Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole

Both fighters have tons of experience in the cage, but this is Ebersole’s second UFC bout. Both sport nearly identical win-loss records and they’re both in their 30’s.

Having said that, Ebersole is a freestyle fighter and Hallman is a grappler. And you guessed it – this one will go to the mat. The thing is is that Ebersole wants to pound Hallman into hamburger while Hallman looks to submit whoever he’s fighting. And that mindset from these two will lend to this being a fight of attrition. Simply put, this one goes to the judges. Ebersole by unanimous decision

Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama

Can you say slugfest? After all, that’s Belfort’s calling card. Akiyama is a veteran of the MMA wars, as well. This bout, I suspect, will be like a chess match as both will feel each other out initially, then the bombs will fly. Lots and lots of bombs, to be exact.

The winner of this one will obviously be the one who has the most success connecting the fist with his opponent’s chin. In this instance, I think Belfort will be more successful. Belfort by TKO, early 2nd-round

Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz

It’s pretty cut and dried: Ortiz has to win this one or he’s cut from the UFC. A career extender or ender, if you will. Evans, meanwhile, need to win this one to be a serious contender for the light-heavyweight belt.

As is the fighting styles of both suggest, both will for the most part be standing for most of the fight. One would think that one or both will be on their back(s) in this bout. That very well may happen, but I don’t see it happening. Ortiz is a tough customer despite what his recent bouts may suggest. Simply put: This one goes to the judges. Evans by unanimous decision

Well there you have it folks. Those are my picks, how about yours? Don’t be afraid to chime in and give Octagon Buzz your predictions for UFC 133.

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