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UFC 133: Evans Vs. Ortiz Predictions And Preview On The Fight Fix

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Does Tito Ortiz stand a chance against Rashad Evans? How will ring rust affect Evans after a 14-month layoff? Who are we predicting to win the fight? Host Dustin Green of The Fight Fix and SB Nation's Luke Thomas breakdown this weekend's main event.

The Fight Fix studio
The Fight Fix studio

The Fight Fix is back this week with a look ahead to this weekend's UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz main event. Host Dustin Green and I talk about who has more to lose in this main event, whether it's possible Tito Ortiz could earn a title shot with a dramatic win, how Rashad Evans can be Ortiz, predictions for the fight and more. Also, don't forget: The Fight Fix is headed to Philadelphia and will providing continuous coverage of the event, so stay tuned.

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30 secs, on who benefits more coming into the fight: "It's gotta be that Tito Ortiz can benefit more.  How likely is it that he's gonna win?  Not very likely, but the stakes are higher for Rashad Evans.  Consider originally that he was supposed to fight Jon Jones.  This was supposed to be one of the biggest fights of the year.  Then it got downgraded to an important fight, but just to keep his place against Phil Davis.  Now he's lost that, the card itself has also kind of suffered.  He needs to beat Tito Ortiz simply to stay in place.  I have to say that Rashad Evans is risking a tremendous amount here, but really he's been left with no choice given the decision he made to wait out for 14 months."

1:10, on how much of a factor ring rust will be: "I think ring rust is gonna be kind of interesting even for Tito Ortiz, not just Rashad Evans.  Think about it this way: Rashad Evans has been out for 14 months.  The interesting part about that though is that he changed camps.  Often times when guys change camps, they do iron out things that they didn't realize were problems before.  They can work on parts of their game they never did.  I think actually the change for Rashad Evans in between the layoff may actually benefit him in the end - we'll see when he performs.  For Tito Ortiz - yes he's coming off all these camps, but he really hasn't put the skills to a laboratory.  Listen, a with Ryan Bader is important and the win, you can't discount it, but the fight was a minute and 30 seconds.  Can you accurately judge the skills of Ryan Bader or Tito Ortiz in a minute and 30 seconds?  No, you can't.  There's still lots of questions actually not just about Tito Ortiz, Rashad Evans as well.  This is the kind of fight we're gonna get answers for both guys."

2:06, can the "new Tito" finish Rashad Evans:  "I think he believes he does and maybe that's enough.  We'll find out actually on August 6th.  The reality about Tito Ortiz though is that he is 36 coming off those multiple surgeries and the way he positions it is 'I could've been performing at a high level all this time.  I was held back by the injuries' and maybe that's true.  Or maybe it's also true taking that amount o9f time off, not competing, was actually inhibiting his ability to develop his skills in a meaningful way.  It isn't just that he was held back and he could've done so well, it's that cumulatively has he actually either regressed or not kept pace properly to handle the current crop of mixed martial artists.  You could point to the Ryan Bader win and say 'Well listen, obviously he does.'  Again, a minute and 30 seconds, while impressive in what he did, is not an accurate gauge of Tito Ortiz MMA skill set in 2011."

3:05, could a stoppage earn Tito a title shot:  "Dana White answered this question and he said no.  Now, do I really believe that?  I'm not sure that I do.  Lemme give you an image and it may sound ludicrous, but this would've sounded ludicrous before the Bader fight.  Hear me out:  Tito Ortiz, 2nd round, 2 minutes left in the round.  He is on top of Rashad Evans in guard destroying him against the fence - classic Tito Ortiz.  Passes guard side control maybe even mount.  Such to the point where the ground-n-pound is so savage the referee has to rescue Rashad Evans.  You may say that's unlikely.  I'm not saying it's likely, I'm just saying let's posit that for a minute.  If that happens, that scene of Tito Ortiz in unbelievable triumph, you don't mean to tell me there'd be fan clamoring to get that guy fast forwarded to Jon Jones?  And Jon Jones vs Tito Ortiz you don't think Tito Ortiz at this point - say what you want about his MMA skils - is a master of promoting a fight?  Absolutely.  It will be a long shot for Tito Ortiz, but does he have the capability to to achieve those ends through unbelievable performance?  I think he does."

4:10, who he's picking & why:  "I think the safe money is on Rashad Evans.  There've been questions about Rashad Evans, we addressed them before.  But the reality is it's just not fair to bank on Tito Ortiz given all the uncertainties.  There are uncertainties about Rashad Evans - the 14 month layoff, changing camps, maybe the changing camps will backfire because Jackson was providing the kind of skills set that Evans needed specifically to succeed and his new cam doesn't, but I don't buy that.  Rashad Evans is a pro.  He's a pro from pillar to post.  He knows what he needs, he knows what his body needs, and he knows what he needs to compete at the highest level.  I really believe that there are some uncertainties, we're gonna figure those out, but this is Evans' fight to lose.  And I think overall generally Rashad Evans has a better MMA skill set, more evolved and much more devastating power in standing.  It's his fight to lose."