LowKick.com UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz Staff PredictionsPosted on August 5, 2011, 07:57 AM by Anton Gurevich
Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans
Top Prediction: Evans via Decision
Anton Gurevich: Obviously, Rashad Evans is a clear favorite in this fight, so it won’t be surprising if he defeats Tito Ortiz via KO or Submission. But in my opinion, Ortiz definitely has the X-Factor here, and the necessary tools to shock the world and get his hand raised on Saturday. My bet is on the Cinderella Man Tito Ortiz via Submission in Round 2.
Ryan Ventura: Tito is fresh off his victory over Ryan Bader back in July, while Rashad hasn’t competed in 14 months. Rashad has been training with K-1 caliber strikers Tyrone Spong and Cosmo Alexandre. I expect Sugar’s striking to be greatly improved, but with Tito’s recent momentum I expect him to grind out a victory this Saturday. Ortiz via decision.
Joey Santosus: I'm not quite ready to jump on the "Tito is Back" hype train. Unlike Ryan Bader, Evans brings much more to the table than just a strong wrestling background. Look for Evans to use his superior footwork and hand-speed to keep Tito guessing, allowing "Suga" to set-up the takedown and outwork the tough to finish "Huntington Beach Bad Boy." Rashad Evans via Decision.
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Top Prediction: Belfort via TKO in Round 1
Anton Gurevich: I’m a big fan of Yoshihiro Akiyama, but I can’t see how he can defeat Vitor Belfort. The Brazilian veteran is faster, and better in every aspect of the game. Sexyama I a world-class Judoka, which could help him to drag this fight into later rounds This way or another, my pick is Belfort via TKO in Round 2.
Ryan Ventura: In February, Vitor Belfort was on the receiving end of one of the most memorable finishes in Mixed Martial Arts. Yoshihiro Akiyama hasn’t competed in nearly a year and badly needs a win. Both men will be extremely hungry and desperate for a victory. This could be a potential fight of the night and finish of the night candidate. Expect to see bombs flying left and right with only one left standing. I think Vitor’s boxing is much more technical, powerful, and faster. Vitor Belfort, first round KO.
Joey Santosus: It'll be interesting to see how Vitor responds to Akiyama's aggressiveness early on, as "The Phenom" has been a slow starter in his last two bouts. This could be key for "Sexyama," who will find himself standing across from a much more technical striker on Saturday. However, given Akiyama's penchant for throwing caution to the wind, he'll likely take center cage and exchange with the Brazilian. Vitor Belfort via 2nd Rnd TKO.
Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole
Top Prediction: Ebersole via Decision
Anton Gurevich: Ebersole is a Top 15 Welterweight, who has a good chance to become one of the top stars of the UFC Welterweight division. He’s younger than Hallman, and more aggressive in both striking and grappling. My pick is Brian Ebersole via Decision.
Ryan Ventura: Dennis Hallman has been in the game since 1997 and still going strong with a very respectable 50-13 record. Brian Ebersole is fresh off his UFC debut victory against Chris Lytle back in February and looks to continue his eight fight winning streak. With confidence at an all-time high, Brian Ebersole looks to make a statement by beating the crafty veteran. Brian Ebersole via 2nd round TKO.
Joey Santosus: These two veterans have competed in a combined 129 total bouts. You don't fight that many times without picking up a few tricks along the way, which were evident in each of their latest outings. It's a tough call, but as long as Ebersole can protect his neck and stay cautious inside Hallman's guard, I like him to take the nod on the judge's scorecards. Brian Ebersole via Decision.
Jorge Rivera vs. Constantinos Philippou
Top Prediction: Costa via TKO in Round 1
Anton Gurevich: It’s hard to pick against Jorge Rivera. Despite his age, El Conquistador is a dynamic striker, and a tough match-up for anyone (well, almost) in the UFC Middleweight division. Rivera has a lot to prove in this fight, especially after the disappointing performance against Michael Bisping. Rivera via Decision.
Ryan Ventura: This could be an extremely fun fight that will probably be kept on the feet. Rivera seems to be leaning towards the twilight of his career while Philippou will want to show the world why he belongs on the big stage. I believe El Conquistador is a much more well-rounded fighter and he’ll get the TKO victory in the 2nd round.
Joey Santosus: After the cursed Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara bout once again fell apart, Serra-Longo Fight Team product Constantinos Philippou stepped in on short notice to meet "El Conquistador." Coming off the loss to Michael Bisping, Rivera is likely hungrier than ever and will face a tailor made opponent in Philippou. Assuming he's still got it at nearly 40-years old, it's a fight Rivera should have little trouble winning. Jorge Rivera via 3rd Rnd TKO.
Rory McDonald vs. Mike Pyle
Top Prediction: MacDonald via Decision
Anton Gurevich: It’s a very tough fight to pick. Mike Pyle is known as a prospect killer (def. John Hathaway at UFC 120), but I feel like Rory MacDonald will be able to stop Quicksand’s takedowns, and take control probably towards the end of Round 2. This one could go either way, but I’ll pick Rory MacDonald via Submission in Round 3.
Ryan Ventura: Rory McDonald is possibly the sport’s most talked about prospect since Jon Jones. Rory will be looking to slam his way to victory against Mike Pyle, but it is easier said than done. Mike Pyle has proven in the past to not be a stepping stone for young up and comers. The veteran Xtreme Couture product will be looking to out-wrestle the proud Britsh Columbian native, but I think a combination of Rory’s youth and training camp at the Tristar gym with Georges St-Pierre will bring him one step closer at a big title shot. Rory McDonald via 3rd round submission.
Joey Santosus: Rory MacDonald has looked nothing short of impressive in his UFC stint thus far, submitting Michael Guymon in his debut before giving Carlos Condit fits en-route to being TKO'ed in the waning moments of a bout he was winning. Against Mike Pyle, he'll face yet another tough veteran, and while "Quicksand" won't make it easy, I expect the 22-year-old to continue his ascension up the Welterweight latter. Rory MacDonald via Decision.
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