Sunday, July 17, 2011
So on of my favorite fighters and an NCCC alum is fighting on August 6th. Rashad Evans is poised to re-claim the #1 contenders spot at 205 lbs, but this card has gone through some injury troubles. Much like the rest of the first half of the year, with 7 out of 13 total main events needing changing. First Kenny Florian was hurt prior to UFC Fight for the Troops 2, then Rashad Evans had to pull out of the title fight with Shogun Rua at UFC 128, resulting in Jon Jones taking his place, beating Rua senseless and taking the belt which started the feud between Jones and Evans. Then Tito Ortiz had to pull out of Fight Night Seattle with a cracked skull or some other excuse. Thiago Silva failed a drug test after UFC 126 and could not fight at UFC 130 against Rampage, resulting in being replaced with Matt Hamill. The Rampage vs Hamill fight ended up being the main event for UFC 130 after both Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard pulled out of the lightweight title fight with injuries. Brock Lesnar suffered another bout of diverticulitis and was forced out of his fight with Junior Dos Santos being replaced with Shane Carwin at UFC 131. Then Anthony Johnson was injured before UFC Live on Versus 4, and Nate Marquardt had his TRT problems, resulting in being temporarily suspending in Pennsylvania and being cut from the UFC.
Now this card is full of issues. First Phil Davis was forced to pull out of the fight and the UFC asked both Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz if they would take the fight against Evans on short notice. Ortiz, fresh off of his comeback choke out victory over Ryan Bader at UFC 132, which no one really saw coming, said no and Machida said yes. Then Machida came back and said he wanted "Anderson Silva" money, or at least his management did. The UFC was not down with that and for some reason Ortiz changed his mind and decided to take the Rashad Evans fight on short notice.
However the train of injury pain that has been going on all year is far from over with this card. First Vladimir Matyushenko was forced out of his Spike TV prelim with Alexander Gustafsson and replaced by Matt Hamill. Now Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was forced out of his bout (Chael Sonnen would probably say he was hit by a bus while feeding it a carrot) with Rich Franklin and they are trying to find another suitable replacement for the co-main event of this card.
Anyway I am hoping that this card is exciting and that the injury bug does not plague any more cards as there some absolutely stacked fights in the fall, with UFC 134 having Anderson Silva versus Yushin Okami in Brazil along with a stacked undercard that seems to have half of the nation of Brazil on it, UFC 135 having Jon Jones in his first light heavyweight title defense against Rampage Jackson in Denver Colorado, UFC 136 having two title fights in the Edgar vs Maynard trilogy finally ending and the co-main event being Jose Aldo defending his featherweight title against Kenny Florian. This card will be in Houston, Texas and also features the return of no other than Chael Sonnen against the All-American with knockout power the decorated United States Marine Brian Stann. UFC 137 has the GSP defense against Nick Diaz, former Strikeforce welterweight champion and the pride of Stockton California. Then UFC 138 goes out to San Jose, California and features the first Mexican Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez in his first title defense against Junior Dos Santos after his beating of Shane Carwin for the number one heavyweight contenders spot. Maybe if we are lucky we will get to see Dominick Cruz by the end of the year as well following his "Fight of the Year" candidate bout with Uriah Faber. This is not taking into account all the awesome undercard fights that will be happened on these cards, including Guilliard versus Lauzon at UFC 136, and Carlos Condit versus BJ Penn for a possible #1 welterweight contenders spot at UFC 137.
Back to UFC 133. I will probably have some more stuff on this card as August 6th draws closer and I really hope they can find a good explosive fun fighter to go against Rich Franklin.