I was reading a post about Grispi yesterday and people were ragging on him a bit and I defended him, pointing out that before the loss to Poirer, he'd finished eight opponents in a row, all in the first round. And that got me thinking - boy, Grispi really shouldn't have taken that fight against Poirer on short notice.
Sure, if he lost to Poirer, he'd probably have lost to Aldo, hard. But on the other hand, he'd been training for one thing and gotten another. The rest is history, Grispi got handled, his confidence presumably suffered, and then he was beat up by George Roop. Now, although he's just 22, he's looking at getting cut.
That brings us to Lytle. He was scheduled for an exciting fight with Carlos Condit. He was on a four fight win streak. He was one win away from moving into the upper echelon, although a fight with GSP was not in his future anytime soon. What happened? Condit got hurt and instead he fought Brian Ebersole - a huge underdog, a guy who wasn't even in the UFC, and who's idea of offense was to do cartwheel kicks. For the first round Lytle pummelled him, but then Ebersole came back and took the decision. Lytle's lucky enough to get a comeback fight against Dan Hardy, so he hasn't been derailed too much.
Finally, Rick Story. What can you say about that guy? Complete star. One of the 4-5 guys to get a title shot against the winner of Diaz/GSP. He's coming off a win against Alves, he's lined up for a headlining fight Marquardt. He's one, two wins from the shot? At most? Only the day before the fight, Story is fighting Charlie Brenneman, a guy who lost to Hendricks two fights ago. Story loses, Condit wins, and the rest is history.
You might also throw Leben beating Akiyama into that group as well.
All of Grispi, Lytle and Story were huge favourites. All of their opponents were unknowns. That brings us to Evans/Ortiz.
As you all know, Davis got hurt and Ortiz stepped in to fight Evans. He'll only have a couple of weeks to prepare for a new opponent (albeit one with a similar wrestling background). How will it go? Tough to say. I'm sure Ortiz is a big underdog. But is he really a bigger one than Poirer, Ebersole, or Brenneman?