By: William Holmes
The City of Brotherly Love plays host to Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz for a possible shot at light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in the near future. This card has been plagued by the injury bug as numerous fighters have had to pull out prior to tonight, but since the UFC has a very deep roster, last minute replacements were easily found. The results and highlights are as follows.
Preliminary Quick Results:
Rafael Natal defeats Paul Bradley by unanimous decision.
Mike Brown defeats Nam Phan by unanimous decision.
Johny Hendricks defeats Mike Pierce by split decision.
Ivan Menjivar defeats Nick Pace by unanimous decision.
Chad Mendes defeats Rani Yahya by unanimous decision.
Alexander Gustafsson defeats Matt Hamill by 2nd round TKO.
Main Card Results:
Rory MacDonald (11-1) vs. Mike Pyle (21-7-1); Welterweight
MacDonald takes the center of the ring, and Pyle half attempts a takedown that MacDonald shoves off. MacDonald catches Pyle with a straight right that knocks him to his back. Pyle back to his feet and immedateily eats a jab. Pyle again with a shot but is easily shrugged off. Pyle shoots again and this time finishes the takedown. MacDonald applies the butterfly guard in an attempt to sweet. MacDonald back to his feet and Pyle switches to a single leg attempt. Pyle drags him back to the ground and is in half guard. Landsa a few body head combinations. MacDonald again back to his feet and lands two quick uppercuts. MacDonald hits nice left hook, and attempts a guillotine that Pyle gets out of. Pyle on his back and MacDonald is standing over him. Crowd starts to boo as Pyle doesn’t appear to want to stand up. MacDonald jumps into Pyle’s guard. MacDonald lands a hard left while in Pyle’s full guard. MacDonald lands a nice hard right hand on Pyle that appears to have hurt him. MacDonald now landing multiple shots, and the referee is forced to stop it. Impressive win by MacDonald over a proven veteran such as Pyle. MacDonald wins by 2nd round TKO.
Jorge Rivera (19-8) vs. Constantinos Philippouppou (7-2, 1 NC); Middleweight
Fighters begin circling around each other, and Rivera comes in with a two punch combination. Rivera lands a hard outside leg kick, and follows it with an inside kick. Philippou gets in with a body lock against the cage. Philippou gets the takedown and Rivera gets him into full guard position. Philippou lands some weak ground and pound. Philippou lands some right hands, and Rivera gets back to his feet. Rivera has one overhook in, and the referee breaks them up. Philippou lands an outside leg kick. River with one underhook in, and turns Philippou around to the cage. Rivera with a knee to the body, and the fighters separate. River lands a hard right, and locks in a clinch against the cage. Rivera lands some short uppercuts. Philippou lands a nice uppercut on Rivera. Philippou pucshes forward and backs Rivera against the fence. Close round, score it 10-9 for Rivera but very close round.
Fighters touch gloves at the start of the second round. River swings wildly but doesn’t connect, and Philippou swings wildly too but doesn’t connect. Philippou lands two hard rights that drops Rivera. Philippou landing repeated blows, and Rivera is not answering. Philippou landing some hammer fists, but Rivera is able to get his wits back and gain top control position and lands some right hand shots. Rivera lands two hard shots while Philippou knees are on the ground. Both fighters are now clinched against the cage. Philippou goes for a foot stomp but misses. Fighters separate, and re-clinch. Rivera landing some short body shots while clinched. Philippou lands a short uppercut, and goes in for a double leg but quickly lets it go. Philippou charges in again and lands a short left. Rivera lands a beautiful trip, but Philippou locks in an omoplata. Rivera is stretching ouyt his legs and needs to sit up, but he is threatening. Philippou able to get into half guard. Scored it 10-9 for Philippou based on him threatening at the end of the round with an omoplata.
Fighters touch gloves again. Philippou charges in with a two punch combination, and lands a nice uppercut on Rivera. Rivera lands a knee to the body that might have hurt Philippou. Rivera lands a hard right that hurts Philippou. Fighters locked up against the cage again, but then break. Philippou lands a looping right hand, and gets the takedown. Rivera in full guard and Philippou on top. Rivera attempts to lock in a triangle, but Philippou shakes it off, and gets his back. Philippou looks tired. Philippou lands a knee to the body of Rivera. Rivera doing a good job ducking under the hooks of Philippou. Fighters were clinched and the refere breaks them up. Mario Yamasaki doing a good job keeping the fight going on when they are locked up. Rivera gets in a front headlock, and lands some short right hands. Rivera lands a hard knee to the body of Philippou. Rivera again landing some short rights. Fighters back to their feet and clinched against the cage. Yamasaki breaks them up again. Fight ends with Philippou on top after a failed trip. Tough round to score, but I scored it 10-9 for Philippou.
Judges score it 29-28 Philippou, 29-28 Rivera, and 29-28 for Philippou by split decision.
Dennis Hallman (50-13-2, 1 NC) vs. Brian Ebersole (47-14-1, 1 NC); Welterweight
Ebersole has an arrow on his chest again pointing his chin, and Hallman has some real old school 1980’s wrestling style tights on. Hallman throws a quick high kick and quickly gets the back of Hallman. Both fighters on the ground and Halman has two hooks in. Hallman landing some short shots to the head of Ebersole. Ebersole now on top of Hallman, but Hallman has a guillontine locked in. Ebersole landing some short shots to Hallman’s kidneys. Ebersole lands two hard rights to the head of Hallman. Ebersole lands a short elbow to the head of Hallman. Ebersole lands a nice elbow and a nice hammer fists. Ebersole lands a hard elbow to Hallman that hurts him. Ebersole landing some hard elbows on Hallman and hammer fists, Hallman is stunned and the referee stops the fight. Eberesole wins by first round TKO.
Vitor Belfort (19-9) vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-3, 2 NC); Middleweight
Both fighters look to be in incredible shape. Both fighters exchange leg kicks, and Beflort throws a hard high kick to Akiyama’s head. Beflort lands a hard kick to Akiyama’s head. Akiyama throwing out a few lazy jabs as he attempts to find his range. Beflort lands a straight right and knocks Akiyama down. Belfort follows up Akiyama up on the ground and lands repeated blows to the head of Akiyama and Akiyama goes limp and the referee stops the fight. Belfort wins by first round KO.
Rashad Evans (15-1-1) vs. Tito Ortiz (16-8-1)
Ortiz starts off by throwing a kick to the body of Evans that is blocked. Tito catches Ortiz with a left hook, and the crowd is chanting Ortiz’s name. Ortiz rushes in and throws a two punch combination but misses. Evans lands an overhand right. Fighters quickly clinch and exchange. Tito pressing forward. Tito shoots a double leg and has Rashad against the fence. Tito switches to a single and Rashad’s back is against the fence. Tito lets go of the single leg, and the fighters clinch against the fence. Fighters exchange against the fence. Rashad landing some shots on Tito with Tito against the fence. Tito lands a knee to the body of Evans. Evans lands a short elbow and Ortiz lands a knee. Evans shoots a double leg and completes it. Evans is now raining down blows on Ortiz and is in half guard. Evans now in side control of Ortiz. Tito spins out of side control, and Evans throws down blows as the round ends. Evans should win this round 10-9.
Ortiz looked like he was starting to tire at the end of round 1. Tito looks tired at the start of round 2. Both fighters a lot more cautios this round. Tito comes forward with a two punch combination that does not land. Evans in on a double leg, but Tito locks in a guillotine. Evans is able to escape the guillotine choke and is now in half guard. Evans switches to side control. Evans trying to go knee on belly on Ortiz and is landing right hands while Ortiz is on the ground. Evans now landing some short elbows and has Ortiz in a mounted crucifix. Ortiz trying to scramble out of the crucifix position but Evans maintaining control. Again Evans is landing repeated blows to Ortiz. Ortiz tries to roll into a leg lock but Evans is able to escape it. Evans lands a hard body shot to Ortiz. Orrtiz able to spin out of side control but is on his knees, and Evans lands a very hard knee to the chest of Ortiz. Evans lands repeated blows to the head of Ortiz and the referee stops the fight. The knee to the chest of Ortiz may have broken a rib, as it was a very hard knee to the chest or Tito. Evans wins by 2nd round TKO, impressive showing by Evans.
Three Stars of the Night:
Rashad Evans: Evans looked very impressive tonight against Ortiz. He maintained control over Ortiz when it hit the ground, and he showed that he has the ability to finish a fight as he landed a brutal knee to the body of Ortiz when Ortiz’s knees were on the ground.
Vitor Belfort: Belfort returned from a brutal KO at the hands of Anderson Silva and destroyed Akiyama. Belfort always puts on exciting fights, and with a few more victories, he may get a change to rematch Anderson Silva.
Rory MacDonald: Rory MacDonald is a prospect that we have to watch, as he soundly defeated a proven veteran in Mike Pyle. Other fighters at the welterweight division are officially on notice that Rory MacDonald is a fighter that will be contending for a possible title shot in the near future.