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On to the main event.
It was originally scheduled to be Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis before Davis suffered a knee injury. Then Lyoto Machida was offered the fight, but negotiations fell through when he asked for “Anderson Silva money.”
Now Tito Ortiz steps in, who, by the way, makes $450,000 a fight anyway.
Rashad Evans (15-1-1) and Tito Ortiz (16-8-1) have fought before, back at UFC 73. Their bout ended in a draw after Ortiz was penalized a point for holding onto the cage when Evans attempted a take-down.
Since that bout, Evans has gone 5-1, obtaining the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the process.
Ortiz, on the other hand, lost his next three fights before finally rebounding with a win against Ryan Bader at UFC 132.
Both fighters have relied heavily on their wrestling base, but shown by Ortiz’s struggles with Matt Hamill, his wrestling isn’t what it used to be.
It’s also difficult to see Evans getting caught the way Bader did, as he is an extremely fast and competent striker, knocking out the likes of Jason Lambert and Chuck Liddell on the feet.
Despite the losses, Ortiz has maintained a high level of competition, fighting four former champions in a row—Chuck Liddell, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida and Forrest Griffin.
Still, there’s nothing I see that Ortiz can do to Evans in this bout.
Evans has the edge in striking and grappling.
Ortiz is hard to finish, so this will likely be a unanimous decision win for “Suga” Rashad Evans.