Five selling points for the UFC 133 pay-per-view
I’m not going to lie to you. On paper, this event pales in comparison to some of the shows we’ve seen in recent months. We’ve had a pretty terrific run from UFC 129 to this point; even UFC 128 was a solid event.
This one falls short of those monsters, but there are still some redeemable elements to tonight’s event.
Here’s why we think UFC 133 is still worth the investment.
1. The Lazarus of MMA
You might still tell me that now — for various reasons — but Ortiz has pulled off the career resurrection and remains arguably the most compelling and intriguing story going in MMA right now. How can you not be enthralled by the possibility of Ortiz winning this fight and reclaiming a place in the upper echelon of the light heavyweight division?
I would honestly buy this event just to see if Tito can make it two in a row.
2. The End of Evans’ Odyssey
The journey to UFC 133 has been a rough one for Evans.
He chose to wait for “Shogun” and got criticized for it, then injured his knee just as the fight was drawing near. His friend stepped in, won the title, their friendship ended and Rashad packed his bags for Boca Raton, Florida. To cap it all off, his nemesis Jon Jones backed out of their proposed fight, only to sign up to face his other nemesis Rampage Jackson seven weeks later.
Evans can put an end to a lot of that drama tonight with a win over Ortiz. All the questions about how being out of the cage for 14 months and leaving Jackson’s will be answered, and Evans can show everyone that he’s still one of the top light heavyweights in the world.
But it’s not as simple as walking into the cage and walking through Ortiz. This is a tough fight that holds the key to Evans getting back to a title shot, and it’s going to be interesting to say the least.
3. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Three fights, three Fight of the Night awards. It’s as simple as that.
Don’t focus on the results; Akiyama delivers excitement every time he fights, win or lose, and tonight should be no different. He’s got a little more at stake this time as he looks to avoid the dreaded three-fight losing streak, so that should up the intensity and aggressiveness even more. Add the fact that he’s fighting Vitor Belfort to the equation and we could have some crazy exchanges.
As an added bonus, I love Akiyama’s entrance. With all the sounds-the-same rap and aggro-metal that usually accompanies a fighter’s walk to the cage, the operatic entrance of the judoka is refreshing and always something I look forward to seeing.
4. The Continued Rise of Rory MacDonald
I’ve been saying this since he signed his UFC contract — this kid is going to be a champion one day. I’ve actually gone on record as saying it will happen before he turns 26, so that’s a little short on four years from now.
Last time out, MacDonald showed he learned his lesson in the Carlos Condit fight, taking a more patient approach against Nate Diaz through the first two rounds. In the third, he launched Diaz around the cage with a series of serious slams.
Now he gets another tough test in veteran Mike Pyle. “Quicksand” is a different kind of fighter than MacDonald has faced in the past, and one who could certainly test him.
A win moves MacDonald into the next cut of contenders, one step closer to challenging some of the elite welterweights in the sport, and justifies a lot of the hype he’s got behind him.
5. Brian Ebersole’s Chest Hair
I’m dead serious — I’ve been looking forward to seeing what this goofy bastard has in store for us this time around for a couple months now. The arrow at UFC 127 was pretty solid, and I’ve seen pictures of some of his previous efforts as well, all of which have been impressive.
His meeting with Dennis Hallman may not be the most compelling fight on the card, but you’ve got to hand it to Ebersole — he made himself someone I want to see in just one fight, even if it is for his chest hair and cartwheel kicks.