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UFC 133 Fight Card: The Card That Could Have Been

UFC 133 is considered one of the most cursed cards in the company's history. The card has seen more changes than any other that come to mind and until the event actually ends, I'm still keeping an asterisk next to the official card saying *subject to change without reason. Man have noted that this string of Pay Per Views that the UFC is currently in has been one of the longest dry spells and they would be correct. From what the card was originally expected to be, we're getting a bastardized version of a could be an Ultimate Fight Night.

Originally, UFC 133 was set to be the long awaited title fight between Rashad Evans and Jon Jones. They traded barbs on twitter and the fight was a guaranteed PPV success. Jones pulled out of the fight citing a torn ligament in his hand that required surgery, one that he never ended up getting. Instead, Rashad accepted a fight with Phil Davis. Davis would get injured which caused the Lyoto Machida debacle. Tito Ortiz eventually stepped up and is now in the headlining spot to rematch Rashad Evans.

In the co-Main Event, fans were supposed to see Jose Aldo square off against Chad Mendes. Instead, Aldo had some nagging injuries from his title fight with Mark Hominick and wouldn't be ready in time. Not wanting to wait for his title shot, Mendes chose to stay on the card to fight against Rani Yahya

The new co-Main Event was then scheduled to be Rich Franklin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The fight was scrapped when Nogueira injured his shoulder in training. The UFC tried to save the fight by offering Franklin a fight with Alexander Gustafsson. Franklin declined as he only wants to face name fighters at this point in his MMA career. 

Alexander Gustafsson was slated to face a touch challenge in Vladimir Matyushenko, who unfortunately had to pull out of the fight because of an injury. His replacement is Matt HamillNick Pace was scheduled to fight Michael McDonald but the UFC had to remove McDonald to replace an injured Norifumi Yamamoto on UFC 130. Pace is now set to face Ivan Menjivar

Riki Fukuda was the original opponent of Rafael Natal. He was forced to pull out because he injured his knee in a car accident. His replacement was Constantinos Philippou. Philippou was removed from this fight to replace an injured Alessio Sakara and Paul Bradley stepped in as Natal's final opponent. 

The card could have been awesome looking like this:

Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans (Light Heavyweight Title)

Jose Aldo vs Chad Mendes (Featherweight Title)

Rich Franklin vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 

Vitor Belfort vs Yoshihiro Akiyama

Jorge Rivera vs Alessio Sakara

Brian Ebersole vs Dennis Hallman

Mike Pyle vs Rory MacDonald

Alexander Gustafsson vs Vladimir Matyushenko

Nick Pace vs Michael McDonald

Johny Hendricks vs Mike Pierce

Mike Brown vs Nam Phan

Rafael Natal vs Riki Fukuda

That's a great freaking card. Seriously, that's possibly one of the best cards the UFC could promote with match ups that make sense in every division. Instead we get this: 

Rashad Evans vs Tito Ortiz

Vitor Belfort vs Yoshihiro Akiyama

Jorge Rivera vs Constantinos Philippou

Brian Ebersole vs Dennis Hallman

Mike Pyle vs Rory MacDonald

Alexander Gustafsson vs Matt Hamill

Chad Mendes vs Rani Yahya

Ivan Menjivar vs Nick Pace

Johny Hendricks vs Mike Pierce

Mike Brown vs Nam Phan

Rafael Natal vs Paul Bradley

The Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans main event may save the UFC from another disappointing PPV when it comes to the buys, but this card isn't worthy of the $55 price tag. It is a UFC on Versus card. If not for the massive price tags of Evans, Ortiz, Belfort, and Akiyama, this card would be shown on Spike. This isn't the card we wanted or deserved. It's the card we're getting. And that's garbage. 

SBN coverage of UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz