clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 133 fight card update: Recapping the madness of 'Evans vs Ortiz'

These things happen in MMA. 

The adage that "nothing ever goes the way you plan it" has never applied to a UFC event anymore than it does the upcoming UFC 133 fight card, scheduled to go down on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The amount of switching in and out has rivaled even the most cursed of shows -- and it's not over yet. We're still three weeks away from fight night.

Let's see if we can't do a quick recap of the madness.

It seems like ages ago but this event has always been targeted as the promotion's return to "The City of Brotherly Love" and the date, Aug. 6, has remained constant throughout.

So there's that.

However, the original main event was supposed to feature the mega-fight between freshly crowned Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and his former teammate and training partner Rashad Evans.

The promotion was forced to put the kibosh on that plan when it was revealed that "Bones" was dealing with a nagging thumb/wrist injury that would keep him out until late September.

But because Evans had already been out for well over a year, the decision was made to keep him on the card and simply find him a new opponent. And that honor went to fast-rising prospect Phil Davis.

But that match-up didn't last long.

That's because Davis suffered a knee injury in training, a "strain or sprain," according to UFC President Dana White, which the bossman felt was enough to pull him out of the bout, which wasn't exactly to "Mr. Wonderful's" liking.

A call was quickly put in to Tito Ortiz, who declined the fight citing a short turnaround from his last bout (a July 2 win over Ryan Bader) and some personal issues he was dealing with.

Thankfully, Brazil was on speed dial and Lyoto Machida was next up to the plate. He initially accepted the booking and agreed to fill in. But as soon as the UFC called back to confirm, he apparently asked for a big raise -- "Anderson Silva money" -- and White said, "thanks, but no thanks," and the search continued.

Just as the company was growing desperate and ready to pull Vladimir Matyushenko from his planned showdown against Alexander Gustafsson on the same card, Ortiz called back and said he had a change of heart and he would step up to the plate.

Win or lose, he's essentially already hit a home run. Finally, the main event is set in stone ... for now.

Ironically enough, shortly after all this went down, it turned out that Plan C to fill in for the headliner, Matyushenko, also went down with injury and was forced out of his fight against Gustafsson.

Matt Hamill was on standby and healthy coming out of his UFC 130 loss to Quinton Jackson and an able-bodied fill in was found. Please "Hammer," don't (get) hurt 'em.

Just when fight fans were feeling like it couldn't get much worse, it was announced just last night that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira also slipped on a banana peel and suffered a shoulder injury forcing him out of his co-main event bout against Rich Franklin.

A replacement is being sought out as of this writing.

Names bandied about include Lyoto Machida, who could very well redeem himself from the bad press he's been receiving and get back in Dana White's good graces by accepting the short notice fight.

That scenario, however, seems unlikely.

Other possibilities include yanking Gustafsson from his bout against Hamill and putting him at the top of the card against Franklin and letting Hamill have the event off like he was originally supposed to. I would suggest Hamill move up himself if it wasn't for the beatdown "Ace" put on him back at UFC 88 a couple years ago.

This is all just speculation, of course, and frankly, it all seems unlikely.

The promotion appears resolved to keep Franklin on the card, though, so anything can happen. Maybe it's time to take advantage of the Strikeforce buyout?

Before the co-main event was ever determined to be Franklin vs. Nogueira, that slot was actually supposed to be occupied by Jose Aldo defending his featherweight title against Chad Mendes.

"Scarface" needed extra time to heal some nagging injuries, not unlike Jon Jones, and he was re-booked for the UFC 136 event on Oct. 8 in Houston, Texas.

Mendes remains on the card to take on Rani Yahya on the Spike TV broadcasted portion of the preliminary card.

There have been other, less significant moving parts on this card, as well. Nick Pace was slotted to square off against Michael McDonald on the preliminary card before "Mayday" pulled out to battle Chris Cariaso at UFC 130 when Norifumi Yamamoto was forced off that card with injury.

Ivan Menjivar has stepped in and will take on Pace on the free Facebook stream.

Finally, Riki Fukuda was originally booked to go head on against Rafael Natal before getting into a car accident and messing up his knee. Constantinos Philippou has since agreed to fill the void.

So goes the ongoing saga of UFC 133: "Jones vs. Evans" ... er, "Evans vs. Davis" ... er, "Evans vs. Machida 2" ... er, "Evans vs. Ortiz 2."

And, as stated previously, the madness isn't over yet.

Be sure to stay tuned to as we're working diligently to keep you up to date on all this. In the meantime, here's what the fight card looks like in its current form:

Main Event:

205 lbs.: Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz

Main Card (Pay-per-view):

205 lbs.: Rich Franklin vs. TBA
185 lbs.: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Vitor Belfort
185 lbs.: Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara
170 lbs.: Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle

Spike TV Prelims:

205 lbs.: Matt Hamill vs. Alexander Gustafsson
145 lbs.: Chad Mendes vs. Rani Yahya

Preliminary Card (May not be broadcast):

170 lbs.: Johny Hendricks vs. Mike Pierce
145 lbs.: Mike Brown vs. Nam Phan
135 lbs.: Ivan Menjivar vs. Nick Pace
170 lbs.: Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman
185 lbs.: Rafael Natal vs. Constantinos Philippou

For all the latest UFC 133 news and notes click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania