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There is something preventing Jorge Rivera from fighting Alessio Sakara. First scheduled for UFC 118, the bout was rescheduled to UFC 122 because of an injury suffered by Rivera. At UFC 122, however, the bout was scrapped last minute when Sakara came down post-weigh-ins with flu-like symptoms. They were finally set to meet at UFC 133, but, alas, fate would not have it so. The ATT middleweight tore his ACL and now Rivera will be fighting someone else:
The injury bug has bitten UFC 133 again, with Alessio Sakara the latest casualty. Sakara's removal from his bout with Jorge Rivera (the third time the bout has hit the skids), has opened up a main card slot for Greek slugger Costa Philippou, who will now face "El Conquistador" on the August 6th card in Philadelphia. Stepping in to face Philippou's original opponent, Rafael Natal, will be 16-2, 1 NC Ultimate Fighter veteran Paul Bradley, who will be making his Octagon debut.
Philippou was originally slated to face Rafael Natal on this card, but that bout has been scrapped. Filling in for Natal is former season seven cast member of Spike TV's 'The Ultimate Fighter', Paul Bradley. BloodyElbow has a nice summation of Bradley's career status for those unfamiliar:
Bradley competed on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter and won his opening round fight, but was removed from the house just a few episodes later due to a contagious skin infection. Bradley never got a fight on the season finale and instead, has compiled an impressive 10-2 record on the regional circuit, with the two losses coming against current UFC welterweight stud Mike Pierce, and Strikeforce middleweight title contender, Luke Rockhold. A Minnesota native who trains with Sean Sherk and Nik Lentz at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, Bradley is currently on a three-fight winning streak, winning all three fights by submission, with the most recent taking place just this past weekend.
UFC 133 fight card:
A brief search was conducted to find a suitable opponent to take on Franklin on short notice, but with the event just a few weeks away (Aug. 6, 2011) it came up empty. There is no indication at this time if Franklin-Noguiera will be rescheduled for a later date or scrapped altogether.
In the meantime, the middleweight match up between Vitor Belfort and Yoshihiro Akiyama has been promoted to the UFC 133 co-featured fight of the night. The welterweight showdown between Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman has been bumped to the televised portion of the pay-per-view (PPV) card.
Just last week, headliner Phil Davis was forced out of his main event fight against Rashad Evans because of a knee injury, triggering a chaotic 24-hour sequence to find a replacement, which ended when Tito Ortiz answered the call. Vladimir Matyushenko was also recently sidelined with an injury, but Matt Hamill stepped up in his place to challenge Alexander Gustafsson in a 205-pound bout.
UFC 133 is set to take place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., on Aug. 6, 2011. To check out the latest UFC 133 fight card, as well as the latest news updates, be sure to check out our complete event archive right here.
The UFC 133 trauma continues with the pay-per-view (PPV) event set to take place less than four weeks from today at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., on Aug. 6, 2011.
Injured main event participant Phil Davis recently had to withdraw from the event, triggering a chaotic 24-hour stretch to find a worthy replacement for the hard-luck Rashad Evans, which ended when Tito Ortiz (not Lyoto Machida) agreed to step up on short notice.
This time it's Matt Hamill answering the call to fill-in for Vladimir Matyushenko, who, oddly enough, was the promotion's third option to fill the marquee void opposite "Suga" behind the aforementioned Ortiz and Machida. No reason was given for the shake up, which was announced via Twitter.
Hamill, who most recently dropped a lopsided unanimous decision to former light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson at UFC 130, will take on Alexander Gustafsson in a 205-pound bout that is scheduled to air on the Spike TV "Prelims" special that begins before the PPV at 8 p.m. ET.
Gustafsson has won three of four fights inside the Octagon since his debut, including two straight. Matyushenko was a nice bump up on competition level for "The Mauler," but he surely didn't catch a break when the veteran had to bow out.
"The Hammer" is as tough as they come.
For the latest UFC 133: "Evans vs. Ortiz 2" news, notes and fight card updates be sure to check out our event archive right here.
Now it's official. UFC President Dana White took to Twitter today to confirm the new opponent for Rashad Evans at UFC 133. Despite speculation and some reports former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida would fill in for the injured Phil Davis, it turns out that is not true. Here's White's Tweet:
This is an excellent move by the UFC. Evans did not stand a good chance of beating Machida. Had he lost, that would've ruined a potential blockbuster fight between Evans and bitter rival UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Moreover, Evans vs. Ortiz is a rematch (they first fought at UFC 73 in July of 2007), even with some controversy. While the fight was declared a draw, most observers believed Ortiz would've been the rightful winner had he not been deducted a point for grabbing the fence to avoid takedowns.
Ortiz, coming off of a major win over Ryan Bader, is still grappling with damage to his brand despite the important recent win. Still, Evans and Ortiz will likely do everything in their promotional power to hype the event. Given the storylines and Ortiz's superior star power relative to Davis, this is arguably a better main event in terms of pay-per-view and ticket sales are concerned.
Scratch that. It appears former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida is not yet in for Phil Davis at UFC 133. Kevin Iole initially Tweeted Machida had accepted the fight. Now, he's saying Machida not yet in. To wit:
Moreover, Brazilian MMA journalist Guilherme Cruz says he spoke to Machida's manager, Ed Soares, and that Machida likely won't take the fight:
Spoke with Ed Soares, Lyoto's manager, and he told me Lyoto vs Rashad probably won't happen. Not enough time to get ready. Story coming...less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyGuilherme Cruz
We'll have more on this situation as it develops, but the UFC is in a precarious position here. With a lack of available opposition and a short timeline making interest in a tough fight hard to come by, they're facing a situation where they either rob Peter to pay Paul (i.e. take a fighter off of another fight later this year) or wade through without a key main event to anchor the show.
It's confirmed. UFC President Dana White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida will replace the injured Phil Davis against Rashad Evans at UFC 133 on August 6th. This will be a rematch from their UFC 98 main event in May of 2009 where Machida defeated Evans in the first round via TKO. Here's Iole's confirmation:
The news of Machida as Evans' replacement was first reported late last night by Matthew Roth of Head Kick Legend.
The short-run realities vs. long-run costs are in deep play here. In the immediate run, this may actually improve UFC 133's pay-per-view and ticket sales. Evans vs. Davis was a competitive match-up, but hardly a promotional blockbuster. A rematch, however, between Evans and Machida offers much more star power and storyline than anything Davis vs. Evans could hope to offer.
However, should Evans lose (and most experts will likely assume Machida can defeat Evans again), the UFC losses out on potential mega-fight between bitter enemies Evans and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
As a side note, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was also offered the fight against Evans, but turned it down. When I asked Ortiz the day after beating Ryan Bader when he'd be ready to fight again, he told me "two weeks":
Luke Thomas: How fast can you turn around if you could game plan?
Tito Ortiz: Two weeks.
Luke Thomas: You could fight at UFC 133, 134, or 135 easily, right?
Tito Ortiz: Whatever they want, I'm ready. I'm healthy, I'm good, no problems. My knee's a little sore from when Ryan kicked the inside of my knee but I checked it so his foot must be killing today. That and his chin.
According to a report on MMA Fighting, main event fighter Phil Davis is out of his bout with former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. The report started Davis has suffered some form of a knee injury. The details are as follows:
Phil Davis has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 133 main event fight against Rashad Evans due to a knee injury, MMA Fighting has learned from sources. No word just yet on who, if anyone, Evans will now fight on the Aug. 6 card. UFC officials could not be reached for comment on Tuesday evening.
According to sources, the UFC is expected to announce Davis' injury and the new UFC 133 main event in the coming hours.
I can't publish what I'm hearing yet in terms of who will replace Davis, but if it's true, Evans has a serious, serious fight on his hands.
This also has to be considered a significant blow to Evans. He first waited for a title shot by sitting out a hugely inordinate amount of time (he last fought in May of 2010), only to have his title shot evaporate into thin air after Jon Jones became injured. Now he has to face who is likely to be a completely different opponent stylistically from Davis lacking proper preparation time. This also continues the trend the UFC has suffered through this summer with main event participant after main event participant fall prey to injury that forced cancellation or change.
One wonders what this will do for ticket sales and pay-per-view buys. Depending on the replacement, it may not necessarily be the death knell in terms of financial returns that main event replacements often bring.
We'll update this stream when it is confirmed who will replace Davis.
According to his own Twitter feed, UFC middleweight Riki Fukuda is out of UFC 133: Evans vs. Davis with a "broken left knee". "I had a car accident on 16th of July. I broke my left knee and it seems require surgery," said Fukuda. It is assumed he means June when he states July.
The UFC 133 fight card at the time of this writing is as follows:
According to MMA Weekly,Team Alpha Male star Chad Mendes is now scheduled to face Rani Yahya at UFC 133. After making the move to bantamweight with mixed results, Yahya made his return to featherweight earlier this year with a win over former WEC champion Mike Brown.He was scheduled to fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 131 but had to drop out of that bout with an injury.
Mendes was originally penciled in to fight featherweight champion Jose Aldo on the card, but sources tell SBNation that Aldo is still troubled by a neck injury that has caused him problems for months. Mendes, with a win over Yahya, is expected to keep his number one contender spot, although SBNation could not confirm that definitively.
The new match pits a top wrestler (Mendes) against one of the best submission artists (Yahya) in the featherweight class. It will be interesting to see if Mendes will risk going to the ground with Yahya, or whether he will put his developing stand up game to the test.
UFC President Dana White announced today that the City of Brotherly Love will get another dose of high-impact welterweight action on August 6th with a veteran vs. prospect meeting.
"Welterweight standouts Mike ‘Quicksand’ Pyle and Rory ‘The Water Boy’ MacDonald have verbally agreed to fight at UFC 133 in Philadelphia," said White.
As BloodyElbow.com notes, Pyle has a history of serving as a litmus test for rising prospects. The UFC 133 fight card thus far looks this way:
Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis
Rich Franklin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Johny Hendricks vs. Mike Pierce
Mike Pyle vs. Rory MacDonald
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara
Ivan Menjivar vs. Nick Pace
Mike Brown vs. Nam Phan
Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman
Riki Fukuda vs. Rafael Natal
Coming off of a strong performance against tough veteran Charlie Valencia at UFC 129, Ivan Menjivar is ready to step up again. According to the UFC, "The Pride of El Salvador" will return to the Octagon when he steps in for Michael McDonald. UFC.com has the scoop:
This August in Philadelphia, veteran Ivan Menjivar will look to follow-up his crushing UFC 129 knockout of Charlie Valencia with a win over hot 135-pound prospect Nick Pace.
"Bantamweights Ivan Menjivar and Nick Pace have agreed to fight each other August 6, at UFC 133 in Philadelphia," said UFC President Dana White. "Menjivar is coming off a devastating elbow KO win and Pace utilized a rarely seen type of submission to secure the victory in his last outing."
Pace was orginally slated to fight Michael McDonald at UFC 133, but McDonald stepped in for an injured fighter on the UFC 130 card.
Excellent opportunity for Menjivar to build on the momentum generated in his most recent fight. It's also stylistically a fight that should generate action due to the fighters' skill parity.
This has to be considered a promotional blow to the UFC. According to multiple reports, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is out of his fight with Rashad Evans at UFC 133. Pennsylvania's own Phil Davis is stepping in for the injured champion. To wit:
Put the grudge match on hold. Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press broke news on Twitter that Jon Jones has pulled out of his first title defense against former teammate Rashad Evans. John Morgan of MMA Junkie added that Jones "is facing a lengthy recovery from a torn right-hand ligament suffered in his title win."
Phil Davis will step in to fight Evans, which will do little to dispel the inability of some fans to differentiate between Jones and himself. There has been no official announcement, but MMA Junkie reports that the bout is expected to take place at UFC 133 in Philadelphia.
The match-up between Evans and Davis is noteworthy. Two former wrestlers. One former champion and a rising contender. But there's little the two can do to replicate the driving force that the narrative between Jones and Evans carried. Evans vs. Davis is intriguing and will make for an excellent fight, but there's no real substitute for what was likely to be a blockbuster of a main event for the UFC.
And now this fight has its own set of questions. Tomas Rios makes an important point:
The UFC baffles me sometimes. They go from slotting Davis against Hamill to booking him against Nogueira and Evans over 4 months.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyTomas Rios
Substitutions on cards are by definition non-ideal circumstances, but there's a question of what track Davis is or was on. Was it the prospect track of gaining valuable experience against increasingly challenging opposition in more demanding scenarios? Or is it now the contender track where Davis is fighting the elite of the division to earn a title shot? The two tracks do have some points of overlap, but the sudden change from prospect to contender seems strange.
Some would argue Davis' defeat of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira proves Davis is ready for increasingly difficult challenges, notably Rashad Evans. I'm not so convinced. I tend to think Nogueira is enormously talented, but shop worn and in terms of ranking, likely overrated as an opponent. Davis' win is still excellent, but didn't inspire confidence that he was ready to move to the next stage in his career.
Part of Davis' run on the prospect track was to give him time to develop his other skills, notably his striking, that needed sharp improvement before they could be reliable weapons fight in, fight out. He seems to be losing that latitude now.
As for Evans, Jones' injury puts him in an unenviable position. He waited on Shogun until he himself was injured. His teammate takes his place and wins the title against the man he was originally waiting for. Then Evans is forced to distance himself from said teammate and team. Evans gets his title shot only to now lose it again. But he can't put off fighting due to his long period of inactivity. So now he must face Davis, a prospect turned contender overnight. Evans could lose his title shot, but has much more to lose than that should he be upended by Davis. In short, Evans wins only stats quo with a win over a very tough and unheralded opponent after sitting out much of the last year.
Not so fun.
The UFC 133 fight card is already taking shape. It was confirmed today by UFC President Dana White that the event will take place on August 6, 2011 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As of this moment, this is how the card looks:
Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara
Michael McDonald vs. Nick Pace
Rafael Natal vs. Riki Fukuda
Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole
Speculation has mounted over the timing and identity of Belfort's next opponent, with UFC Rio widely touted for his return following defeat to Anderson Silva. The names of Michael Bisping and Wanderlei Silva have been linked in recent times, although Silva is now slated to fight Chris Leben at UFC 132, and the UFC has officially confirmed The Phenom's next challenge for August 6.
"Verbal agreements are in for a battle between two of the most exciting fighters in the middleweight division," UFC president Dana White told ESPN.
"Coming off three straight Fight of the Night performances, Yoshihiro Akiyama will take on former UFC light-heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort in Philadelphia."
And if he loses, Akiyama will likely be bounced from the organization unless the UFC is insistent on hanging on to him for expansion into emerging Korean markets. We shall see.
We will continue to update this stream as fights are announced, changes are made, injuries take place and the UFC 133 fight card takes shape.
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