Rashad Evans put an end to Tito Ortiz’s brief revival tonight at UFC 133 with a second round TKO victory over the former champion.
Ortiz looked confident with his hands in the early stage of the round but then he opted to change things up and ducked in for a takedown against the fence. Evans was able to stuff it however and Ortiz perhaps expended a significant amount of energy without any gaining any reward from it.
Evans then fired up his own striking game, pressing forward and launching a barrage of blows against to the face and body of Ortiz against the fence.
Ortiz appeared to be hurt but fired back with a knee of his own only to be met with even more strikes. Things got worse for him when Evans suddenly decided to go for a takedown and effortlessly scooped up the former champion onto his shoulder and slammed him to the mat.
From their Evans blasts on Ortiz with elbows and punches, but Ortiz hangs on and it makes it out of the round.
There’s not much happening in round two until Evans presses forward and Ortiz suddenly grabs a hold of his neck and drops down for a guillotine choke. It looks deep and some tense moments pass before Evans manages to squeeze his head back out.
Now Evans is on top and he’s making good use of the position pinning Ortiz’s limbs where possible and even putting him in a crucifix at one point, all the while dropping down blows whenever the opporunity presents itself forcing Ortiz to remain on the defensive.
Eventually Evans works up against the cage and stands over Ortiz before delivering a powerful knee strike straight to his solar plexus that has the veteran fighter immediately wincing in pain. He falls over to the side and Evans bombs in with more strikes to claim the TKO victory.
In the end Ortiz took a bit of a beating here, but it was gusty display and not one that’s likely to see him getting cut from the promotion.
Meanwhile for Evans this was a strong showing on his competitive return after a 14 month absence and he’s now back in line as the No.1 contender and will be poised to meet the winner of Jon Jones Vs ‘Rampage’ Jackson most likely in early 2012.