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Falling Action: Best and Worst of UFC 133

Rashad Evans

UFC 133 had its share of surprises, ranging from the good to the bizarre. And while not everyone went away completely happy with what they saw -- particularly Dana White, who's distaste for speedos in the Octagon is now well documented -- it did make for an entertaining night.

Now that it's all over and we've had a day to decompress and digest, let's take a closer look at Saturday night's big winners, losers, and everything in between.

Biggest Winner: Rashad Evans

Tito OrtizUFCJon Jones

or "Rampage" Jackson for the title, but let's be real. The first Jackson-Evans fight wasn't a classic by any stretch of the imagination, and the blood seems to be a whole lot badder between Evans and Jones. If that fight does materialize down the road, it will be huge.

Biggest Loser: Yoshihiro Akiyama

Chris LebenMichael BispingVitor Belfort

-- all very good fighters. But then, that's what the UFC is. If you can't pull out a win every once in a while, even in the tough ones, do you really deserve to be there?

Bravest Wardrobe Choice: Dennis Hallman

Brian Ebersole

. Thanks to Hallman's exhibitionism, Ebersole pocketed an extra $70,000. The least he could do now is give Hallman a few bucks to go get a decent pair of pants.

Biggest Matchmaking Question Mark: Vitor Belfort

Anderson Silva

so soon, and most of the other top middleweights are already spoken for. That means more waiting and more doubt, as the UFC struggles to find someone it can put in against Silva without it feeling like reruns.

Most Impressive: Rory MacDonald

Mike PyleCarlos Condit

, and there his inexperience cost him. There's no question that he has the physical tools. Now we just have to see if, despite his youth, he has the mental ones as well.

Least Improved: Matt Hamill


The mistakes he made in the "Rampage" Jackson fight -- reaching for half-hearted takedowns, following his opponent around the cage -- were on display again in his loss to Alexander Gustafsson. As a result, he was just as unsuccessful with his takedown attempts in this fight as he was in his last, and he made for an easy target once Gustafsson zeroed in on him with those uppercuts. Hamill is still a talented fighter who can give a lot of people problems, but something's got to change. I don't know whether it's his training camp or his mental approach, but if he keeps doing the same old thing every fight, he's going to end up with the same old results.

Most Gracious in Defeat: Tito Ortiz
Maybe he's benefiting here from having set the bar so low in recent years, but regardless, let's give the man some credit. After getting stopped by that brutal knee, Ortiz offered no excuses. He didn't come into the fight with a cracked skull. He wasn't plagued by back problems that would have left a normal man crying in a dark room. He was at his best, he said, and it just wasn't good enough. You see? That's how you take a loss with dignity. It's tough because, realistically, every fighter has excuses if he wants them. There's always something that didn't go quite right in training camp. There are always nagging injuries or old wounds or just a sluggish feeling that you can't explain. The problem is, fans don't want to hear it. At least, not right after the fight. Ortiz seems to have finally learned that, and hey, better late than never.



Most Fun: Brian Ebersole
There's a fine line between not taking yourself too seriously and turning yourself into a walking joke, and right now Ebersole is walking it perfectly. From his horsing around backstage to his signature hairrow, he stands out without being ridiculous. More importantly, he also comes to fight. The beating he put on Hallman was positively brutal. Who wants to pipe up and say something about his chest hair after seeing that? He seems to have a good grasp on when it's time to joke around and when it's time to be serious, which is exactly what separates an entertainer from a clown. He's now 2-0 in the UFC with wins over two high-level veterans of the sport. For his next fight, it might be nice to see him face an opponent who's a little closer to his prime (in other words, maybe not Matt Serra, as Ebersole suggested), but either way I'll still be watching with great interest. In a sport that sometimes feels overrun with grim tough guys, it's nice to have an equally dangerous jokester around to lighten the mood from time to time.

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