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 UFC 133: Injuries

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Favorite Fighter(s) : The Prodigy, The Great, Viking Dahmer, The Phenom
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PostUFC 133: Injuries

UFC 133: Injuries Ufc133ortizvsevansposte

Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz

Ludo: A rematch from years ago. Way back at UFC 73 these two locked horns in what turned out to be a great fight ending on a sour note. Ortiz was deducted a point for grabbing the fence resulting in unanimous 28-28 scores for a draw. However this fight may not look the same as that one did. Rashad at that time was still very much an up and coming fighter who had just started developing an overall game. Tito, meanwhile, was fresh off his second loss to Chuck Liddell at the time of the fight. Early on it was clear that Tito was the more experienced and more rounded fighter of the two. Had he not been deducted the point he would have taken a 29-28 decision. However that is all in the past. Since then Tito has gone on to lose three fights and earn his only win against Ryan Bader earlier this year. Rashad on the other hand has amassed a 5-1 record since then, and also held the light heavyweight title breifly. What stands in Tito's favor here is his confidance in finally winning again, coupled with his being in shape having just fought, as well as the rust for Rashad who has been out of the cage for over fourteen months. What Rashad has going for him is his overall game improving vastly since the first fight, his athleticism and speed, as well as the difference in mental toughness that Tito's last opponent didn't have. With the striking and speed advantage going to Rashad without a doubt the only questions are in strength and wrestling. I think strength is even or possibly a slight advantage for Rashad, as we didn't get a chance to see it in Tito's last fight. Wrestling may be an advantage for Tito but Rashad uses his wrestling very well also. Both seem to fade in the third round so cardio is more or less a wash. I see this fight playing out all over the place. Standing, clinching, on the ground, this fight will have it all. However unless Rashad is very rusty I don't see him getting the worst of it here. Tito seems to be back in rare form but I don't think it's going to be enough at this stage in his career to best the fighter Evans has become.

Prediction: Rashad Evans by Decision

Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama

Ludo: After his loss to reigning Middleweight kingpin Vitor Belfort looks to make his return to action against the always game Yoshihiro Akiyama. Akiyama has had a rough go of it lately with his two straight losses to Chris Leben and Michael Bisping. This third loss could mean his removal from the UFC if he cannot at least hold his own here. He may be granted some lee-way in that respect since he has taken home three straight fight of the night awards which has to count for something despite two straight losses. As it stands Belfort will enjoy both a technical striking and power striking advantage. Akiyama Will have an overall advantage in grappling with his Judo, but Belfort is a former ADCC bronze medalist and a very good grappler overall who has never been submitted in his MMA or Submission Grappling career. I don't see many outs for Akiyama in this one to be honest. He may be able to use his Judo to stall Vitor out when things get hairy in the beginning but eventually his poor cardio is going to rear it's ugly head and I believe that is when Vitor will chase him down and finish him off with punches.

Prediction: Vitor Belfort by TKO

Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya

Ludo: In what should be a fairly uneventful fight Chad Mendes takes on Rani Yahya. Yahya is fresh off his dominating win over Mike Brown, while Mendes has yet to lose. This is likely to be muchly a ground affair and as sad as it is the fighter on top usually takes the victory save for the fast becoming rare submission from the bottom. Yahya is a grappling wizard but unfortunately I just don't see him submitting Mendes here. Mendes' top game is too tight and too well positioned for that, he's also equipped to wrestle anyone down for three rounds.

Prediction: Chad Mendes by Decision

Johny Hendricks vs. Mike Pierce

Ludo: This is an interesting fight to say the least. Pierce has made a slight name for himself with his tenacity in all areas while Hendricks has used his wrestling to become a rising star in the sport. Some have said that Hendricks is the future champion at 170lbs due to his high level wrestling and relatively young age. In order to keep those aspirations alive he has to get through Pierce who is no easy test. Both men are coming off spectacular wins into this fight, both coming by knockout. Obviously the wrestling and overall grappling advantage goes to Hendricks but Pierce is game, he did take the back of Jon Fitch when they fought. Striking is another story however. Pierce has the edge in striking both in technique and power, the question is whether he can avoid the takedowns of Hendricks to make any real use of it. Pierce has historically had trouble with strong top control grapplers such as Nathan Coy, Mark Munoz, and Jon Fitch. Hendricks fits into that category nicely. I think Pierce can hold Hendricks off temporarily but eventually the former OSU wrestler will find a way to get the fight where he wants it. From there he might grind Pierce down or work for the finish. Either way I see Hendricks taking this fight.

Prediction: Johny Hendricks by Decision

Mike Thomas Brown vs. Nam Phan

Ludo: Many questions surround former champion Mike Brown following his loss to Rani Yahya. He looked weak, sluggish, and as though he was unable to keep his stamina up in the fight. All of those are uncharacteristic for the notorious gym rat. He returns to action against TUF allumni Nam Phan who comes in off of injuries that forced him out of the rematch with Leonard Garcia at Ultimate Fight Night 24 earlier this year. There is no way to know if Brown has found the answers and solutions to whatever it was that ailed him last time out but I will go off of what we do know based on prior performances. Mike Brown should have a notable wrestling advantage, as well as an edge in power in all areas. Phan appears to be the better technical striker but his takedown defense is suspect. The only way I see Phan winning is if Brown comes out looking far worse than he did against Yahya and willingly lets Phan strike from the outside all night. Otherwise it is likely Brown lands a good power strike and drops Phan before finishing him off on the ground.

Prediction: Mike Thomas Brown by TKO

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