UFC 133: "Pigs Fly" is all set to go down from the Wells Fargo Arena on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, featuring a reworked main event between former light heavyweight champions Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz.
Ortiz replaces the injured Phil Davis, who blew out his knee in training camp and was forced to withdraw.
That left the promotion scrambling for a replacement. When "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" initially declined the offer. The Zuffa brass promptly made a call to Brazil and had what they thought was a lock in Lyoto Machida.
That is, until camp "Dragon" decided to hold the UFC hostage and demand a short-notice ransom.
All the while, Evans simply kept on truckin', telling UFC President Dana White he would fight whoever they put in front of him. A rather amiable approach, considering the recent potshots White took at the former "Ultimate Fighter" champion in recent months.
Aside from calling him "insane" for not taking a fight while "Shogun" Rua was hurt, he also informed him the window was closing on his title shot and blasted him with an "I told you so" moment following the UFC 128 fiasco.
Move over Bruce Buffer, as we now have the Dana 180.
White told The Fight Show with Mauro Ranallo last night (July 13) that he now "loves and respects" Evans for the way he handled this entire ordeal.
Take a look.
"I gotta tell you what, the one thing I really love and respect about Rashad Evans through this whole thing, it didn't matter. He says, 'It doesn't matter who you call and tell me I'm fighting, I'm ready. Whoever you get to fight, I'm ready to fight ... Obviously I'm pretty disappointed with (the Lyoto Machida camp) that that was what they came back to me with when they said they would take the fight and then that was their answer, number one. And number two, why are you calling me and terrorizing me all the time that you want to fight, you want to fight, you want to fight and then when a fight pops up like this, that's what you say? You know, it is what it is. Whatever."
While "Suga" joins Oritz on the UFC sweetheart list, the same can't be said for Lyoto Machida and his band of merry men. White was "disappointed" over the way the Brazilian waffled on participating in the UFC 133 main event, demanding "Anderson Silva money."
That probably came as a shock to the fight boss, who made these comments to MMA Live regarding Machida's wallet back in April:
"This is what I think happened; A guy goes through his entire career, he's got this incredible elusive style, nobody can figure him out, he's explosive, got knockout power, but then once you start making a lot of money, it starts messing with your head and you start doing things differently."
UFC 133 is all about opportunity.
Rashad Evans has a chance to reclaim his status as division number one contender while Tito Ortiz can capitalize on his momentum from UFC 132 and finalize the resurrection of his career with an upset win in "The City of Brotherly Love."
It's also about missed opportunities.
Lyoto Machida, himself a former light heavyweight champion, might have stolen the 205-pound title shot and staked his claim to the winner of Jon Jones vs. "Rampage" Jackson. Now, the closest he'll come to the championship belt is from the stands.
At least for now.
So how about it Maniacs? The chips have fallen and the UFC 133 main event mayhem has finally worked itself out. Now that the dust has settled, are you happy with the outcome? Why or why not?