UFC 133: Rashad Evans dominates main event

Rashad Evans.
JON KOPALOFF/FILMMAGIC

It had been 1,391 days since Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans fought to a draw at UFC 73. For 1,391 days, there had been public and private questions as to which man was the better light heavyweight.

The questions were decisively and definitively answered Saturday night.

Evans reaffirmed his position as the No. 1 contender for the light heavyweight championship with a second-round knockout of Ortiz at UFC 133. Immediately after the fight, Evans challenged light heavyweight rivals Jon Jones and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for the title. Jones, the light heavyweight champion, and Jackson are scheduled to fight for the title on September 24 at UFC 135 in Denver.

“I would prefer it be Jones. He’s real cocky. I would love to teach him a lesson,” Evans said when asked who he would rather face. “He has a tough fight with Rampage.”

Evans was the aggressor as he routinely slammed and wrestled Ortiz to the mat. From there, he would punish Ortiz with punches. Evans finished the fight with a knee to the head and chest of a prone Ortiz followed by six punches.

“I gave my all. I’m still fighting. I’m still hungry,” Ortiz said. “Rashad was the better fighter. I’m going to keep fighting. I’m a fighter.”

The route to Saturday night’s main event rematch was circuitous. Initially, Evans and Jones were scheduled to fight for the title. However Jones suffered a hand injury and was replaced by Phil Davis, who subsequently injured his knee in training. Despite Davis’ objections, the UFC made the decision to find a substitute. Ortiz accepted the fight four nights after his stunning first round submission of Ryan Bader at UFC 132. Ortiz had not won a fight in the UFC since knocking out Ken Shamrock in Oct. 2006, and it was public knowledge that he would have been cut if he lost to Bader.

“Tito said it a lot going into this fight. Tito was going into his execution against Ryan Bader. He ends up pulling off not only a win but an impressive win,” UFC President Dana White said of Ortiz. “He then goes in there [Saturday night] against the No. 1 contender in Rashad Evans, who again I can’t say enough good things about how good Rashad looked tonight, and Tito fought an awesome fight.”

The fight was Evans’ first since beating Jackson at UFC 114 in May 2010. Evans had longed for a title fight against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Rub beat Lyoto Machida for the championship at UFC 113. Machida knocked out Evans in the second round of their fight at UFC 98 to win the title.

The Evans-Rua fight was made for UFC 128. But Evans injured his knee in training and was replaced by former Jackson camp stablemate Jones, who won the title in spectacular fashion. Coupled with statements that he would fight his then-friend, Jones’ title fight victory fractured Evans’ relationships with Jones and the Jackson camp. Evans is now trained by Imperial Athletics.    

“It helped out a lot physically and mentally,” Evans said of the extended break. “It was a blessing in disguise.”

Rory MacDonald improved to 12-1-0 with a first round TKO of Mike Pyle (21-8-1). Constantinos Philippou (8-2-0, one no decision) won a split decision over Jorge Rivera (18-9-0). Brian Ebersole and Vitor Belfort earned dominant wins with first round TKO’s over Dennis Hallman and Yoshihiro Akiyama, respectively.

White announced that the gate was $1.5 million and the attendance with 11,583. Belfort earned a $70,000 bonus for knockout of the night. Evans and Ortiz split the $70,000 bonus for fight of the night.

Follow Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman and get all your New York sports news @MetroNYSports.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Television

9 things we learned about 'Hannibal' Season 3…

There’s plenty of fall television to be excited about, but the crowd inside the Paley Center for Media on Saturday night only wanted one thing:…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…