Tonight's UFC 133 event has a 205-pound main event between Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz has had a bit of a boxing slant in the build-up, as former MMA critic, current MMA fan and reigning light heavyweight champion of the world Bernard Hopkins has offered his thoughts, and met with both Ortiz and Evans recently.
Speaking to Bernard Fernandez of the Philadelphia Daily News, Hopkins had this to say about his change in stance on MMA:
"Not a little. A lot," Hopkins, when asked if he had changed his mind about mixed martial arts ... They put 17,000 to 20,000 in there for, like every show. That's nothing to sneeze at. How can you knock it? You'd be a fool to try."
Hopkins credits MMA lightweight Eddie Alvarez with changing his mind about MMA, as he got to see Alvarez up close and personal in the gym when they shared a conditioning coach, and was impressed by the work ethic and dedication he saw.
B-Hop also offered his thoughts on the fight itself when speaking with Franklin McNeil:
"I like [Evans'] heart and the things I've seen over his career. But this isn't a fight where you can say definitely one guy or the next guy is going to win. This is a fight that is going to take a lot of endurance. It's going to take a lot of who does the right thing, and who does the wrong thing will lose."
UFC 133 is live on pay-per-view tonight at 9 p.m. EDT, with preliminary fights starting at 5:45 EDT on Facebook, and continuing at 8 EDT on Spike. For further UFC coverage, check out MMA Nation, Bloody Elbow, and MMA Mania in the SBN family.