Even though UFC 133 is now in the books, there are still unanswered questions following the fights. Many are concerned about the winners and losers but with every event comes a story, and in Philadelphia there were five stories that hopefully will be addressed by Zuffa and media following the fights.
1. Does Dennis Hallman have a job following this loss?
If you saw the interview Dana did with Karen Bryant, you would know that he is disgusted with Hallman's cage attire. Our own Mike Fagan attributes this to a deep rooted homophobia (I don't share this point of view) but with Dana handing out a bonus to Brian Ebersole, there are some legitimate concerns about his feelings on the subject. Dana has been speaking on the matter saying that he's angry that someone under his employ approved those shorts. For those that are unaware, everything a fighter wears must get promotion approval before the show. A fighter wearing bikini briefs offended Dana enough that he's most likely investigating who approved the shorts. Because of this, is it possible that Dennis Hallman will no longer be a UFC fighter?
2. Was that the best Rashad Evans we've ever seen?
I was extremely impressed by Rashad's display of dominance last night. I've never seen him maintain top control that well and work to pass guard. His UFC career has been one where he's been comfortable working from guard and cruising to a decision. Last night he stopped Tito Ortiz, something that very few men have been able to do. Machida couldn't do it. Vitor coulnd't do it. Forrest couldn't do it. In fact, even in the two wins that Chuck Liddell holds over Ortiz, he was never finished so violently. Is it possible that the change in camp did a lot for Rashad's development? Some have said he was out quicked by Tito and almost submitted. I saw a guy land on Ortiz and survive a choke that was extremely tight. I'm excited to see how he would do against either Jon Jones or Quinton Jackson.
In a division where his peers Jon Jones and Phil Davis receive much of the attention, it has become easy for the Mauler to be forgotten. Last night he stopped Matt Hamill, something that neither Quinton Jackson nor Michael Bisping were able to do. On the other hand, Rory MacDonald is a 22 year old in the welterweight division who holds wins over Mike Pyle and Nate Diaz, and who was on his way to a victory over Carlos Condit. Both won their fights last night by stoppage over game veterans. Does it even matter who was more impressive? Does Joe Silva continue to develop these two young men at a slower pace than their peers or have they proven they are ready for the big time?
4. Does Yoshihiro Akiyama deserve another shot at the UFC?
As I said before the event, Akiyama in my opinion has been the biggest bust in the history of the UFC. While some disagreed and brought up Mirko Filipovic as an example of the biggest bust, the point was not lost. When Zuffa signed Yoshihiro Akiyama, there were certain expectations that he could be the trojan horse to bring them to the Japanese market. Now 1-3 in the UFC and a Japanese event planned for 2012, is it worth keeping Sexyama around? Does his contract warrant another shot in the UFC? Can they even sell him as a viable competitor on a Pay Per View portion of the card?
5. Should last night be the final fight for Tito Ortiz?
We were told that this was the best Tito Ortiz. One who is healthy for the first time in his career. Hell, he didn't make any excuses afterward about having a cracked skull or any other type of ridiculous injury. He's been a mainstay for the company and one of the only true UFC fighters in the history of the sport. He shouldn't be kept around to prop up young fighters with a name win. He's done too much for the company and the sport to have that be his role in the industry. Last night showed that Tito just isn't the elite fighter he once was and there is no shame in that. If Dana White and company want to do right by the man, they should let him retire with some dignity and not how they booked Liddell into retirement.