Evans, Ortiz on Target for UFC 133

By Brian Knapp Aug 5, 2011
Four years ago, they left their score unsettled in the California capital. In a matter of hours, they will return to the cage to settle it.

Rashad Evans checked in at 204.4 pounds for his rematch with fellow former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz (205.8) in the UFC 133 “Evans vs. Ortiz 2” headliner on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The eight other men booked for main card duty, co-headliners Vitor Belfort (185.4) and Yoshihiro Akiyama (184.6) included, also met their contracted weight requirements at Friday’s official weigh-in.

Familiar foes, Evans and Ortiz battled to a draw at UFC 73 in July 2007, as the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” was docked a point in the second round for repeatedly grabbing the cage on attempted takedowns.

Evans last appeared at UFC 114 in May 2010, when he outpointed archrival Quinton Jackson en route to a unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A decorated amateur wrestler, the 31-year-old Niagara Falls, N.Y., native won a junior college national championship at Niagara County Community College and went on to compete at Michigan State University. Evans burst on the UFC scene in 2005, when he won Season 2 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series; a little more than three years later, he captured the light heavyweight crown in a second-round technical knockout against Forrest Griffin. Based at Imperial Athletics in Boca Raton, Fla., Evans owns other notable victories over UFC hall of famer Chuck Liddell, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 winner Michael Bisping and American Top Team’s Thiago Silva.

Ortiz last fought at UFC 132 on July 2, when he upset Ryan Bader and submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner by first-round guillotine choke. His first victory in nearly five years quieted talk of his potential retirement. Despite his recent struggles, Ortiz remains a consistently bankable commodity for the UFC and one of the sport’s most polarizing figures. Wins over Griffin, former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort, Brazilian icon Wanderlei Silva and onetime International Fight League light heavyweight titleholder Vladimir Matyushenko anchor Ortiz’s lengthy and distinguished resume. His appearance at UFC 133 will be his 25th inside the Octagon, making him the most prolific fighter in UFC history, as he surpasses hall of famers Randy Couture (24) and Matt Hughes (24).

UFC 133 “Evans vs. Ortiz 2” -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT -- will also feature a welterweight duel pairing Dennis Hallman (170.8) with Brian Ebersole (170.6), a middleweight showdown pitting Jorge Rivera (184.6) against Constantinos Philippou (185.2) and a 170-pound tilt matching once-beaten Canadian prospect Rory MacDonald (170.6) with Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts representative Mike Pyle (170.8). An hour prior, Spike TV will carry a pair of preliminary fights, as undefeated Team Alpha Male standout Chad Mendes locks horns with 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Rani Yahya and Matt Hamill collides with Swedish import Alexander Gustafsson.

Meanwhile, the four remaining preliminary bouts will be streamed on the UFC’s Facebook page at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT: Ivan Menjivar (138*) vs. Nick Pace (135.8), Johny Hendricks (170.8) vs. Mike Pierce (171), Mike Thomas Brown (146) vs. Nam Phan (145) and Rafael Natal (185.4) vs. Paul Bradley (185.2).

UFC 133 “Evans vs. Ortiz 2”
Saturday, Aug. 6
Wells Fargo Center
Philadelphia


Rashad Evans (204.4) vs. Tito Ortiz (205.8)
Vitor Belfort (185.4) vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (184.6)
Dennis Hallman (170.8) vs. Brian Ebersole (170.6)
Jorge Rivera (184.6) vs. Constantinos Philippou (185.2)
Rory MacDonald (170.6) vs. Mike Pyle (170.8)
Chad Mendes (145.8) vs. Rani Yahya (145.2)
Matt Hamill (206) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (204.4)
Ivan Menjivar (138*) vs. Nick Pace (135.8)
Johny Hendricks (170.8) vs. Mike Pierce (171)
Mike Thomas Brown (146) vs. Nam Phan (145)
Rafael Natal (185.4) vs. Paul Bradley (185.2)

Pace has agreed to compete against Menjivar at 138 pounds,after Menjivar failed to make weight.

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