After more than a month since since Cruz vs Faber, UFC is back this Saturday in a highly anticipated light heavyweight bout.
Veteran fighter Tito Ortiz (16-8-1), perhaps the most recognizable UFC fighter of all-time, faces Rashad Evans (15-1-1), one of the best light heavyweights in the sport, in Philadelphia.
Ortiz, 36, is coming off a convincing guilliotine choke victory over Ryan Bader at the 1:56 mark of Round One, on July 2nd. It was Ortiz's only victory in his last six fights. In fact, he's had only six fights since December 30, 2006, when another high-profile fighter, Chuck Liddell, defeated him in a technical knockout.
Aside from the victory over Bader, and the four losses, Ortiz has one draw, and it came against Evans, which was only one of two blemishes on Evans's record.
Evans, 31, has only one loss since the draw with Ortiz back in July 2007. The loss came in May 2009 to Lyoto Machida, who hammered Evans with barrage of punches and then a closing left hook that floored Evans.
How Evans-Ortiz II will turn out may have a lot to do with how the first fight went down. Ortiz almost defeated Evans by submission but Evans was saved by the Second Round bell. The most contentious issue of the match, though, was Ortiz grabbing the fence and having a point deducted.
Ortiz is taller at 6'3 compared to Evans at 5'11, but Evans has a one-inch reach advantage over Ortiz. The fitness of both fighters might be the most interesting aspect of the fight. Ortiz had neck surgery and had a back injury, while Evans is coming off knee ligament injury in February.
PREDICTION: Despite a long duration since his last fight, Evans will prove that he is the more fit and technical fighter by winning all three rounds in a unanimous decision. Evans is a focused fighter who won't be surprised by anything Ortiz throws at him.