Two former UFC Light Heavyweight champions meet as Rashad Evans (15-1-1; 10-1-1 UFC) faces Tito Ortiz (16-8-1; 15-8-1 UFC) in the main event of UFC 133. This bout is a rematch from their UFC 73 fight back in 2007 that resulted in a unanimous draw. Ortiz steps in as a late replacement for Phil Davis, who had to pull out of the fight due to injury. Davis himself was replacing Jon Jones, who was originally expected to defend the Light Heavyweight title against Evans on this show.
How do these two stack up?
Evans: 31 years old | 5’11” | 75″ reach
Ortiz: 36 years old | 6’2″ | 74″ reach
What have these two done recently?
Evans: W – Quinton Jackson (UD) | W – Thiago Silva (UD) | L – Lyoto Machida (KO)
Ortiz: W – Ryan Bader (SUB) | L – Matt Hamill (UD) | L – Forrest Griffin (SD)
How did these two get here?
It’s been a long road to UFC 133 for both men. Evans came into their first fight as the young gun, undefeated and gaining momentum since winning the second season of The Ultimate Fighter. He used the draw with Ortiz to springboard into the main event, ultimately knocking out Chuck Liddell, then stopping Forrest Griffin to claim the Light Heavyweight title. Lyoto Machida quickly ended that reign, and Rashad slipped into a period of inactivity. He first took time off to coach on The Ultimate Fighter, then waited for champion Shogun Rua to recover from injury, only to suffer an injury himself and be forced out of that fight. This will be only his 3rd fight since losing the belt over two years ago.
Ortiz got here through the biggest upset of 2011. Winless since 2006, Ortiz headed into his UFC 132 fight with Ryan Bader as the severe underdog, facing the likely end of his UFC career if he lost. Instead, Ortiz pulled off an amazing win, using a heavy uppercut to set up a guillotine choke. With over 14 years of UFC experience, Tito is almost definitely on his last run at the top here. A win could put him back in contention for the belt he held from 2000-2003. As in the Bader fight, it’s do or die for Tito Ortiz.
Why should you care?
Where to begin? It’s a rematch of an excellent fight, and the winner may be next in line for a title shot. Ortiz fights always bring a lot of emotion, and with his Cinderella story at play, expect the energy to be huge for this one.
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