Tito Ortiz put Rashad Evans in a guillotine choke hold, and the UFC 133 crowd inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia started screaming. A fair reaction indeed, given it was the main event and Ortiz was clearly losing the fight at the time.
But it happened right in front of press row, and those of us in the middle of Row A had the perfect vantage point. It looked tight for a moment, but you could see Evans slowly slipping his head out from Ortiz's submission attempt.
At first, I thought it was just sweat that caused the slippage. But here's what Ortiz had to say afterward about the near-choke: "I thought it was close for maybe about a tenth of a second."
Evans had pushed down on Ortiz's knee to defend against the choke.
"Right before the fight," Evans said, "I was working with Renzo Gracie and he told me, 'Put your head on the floor and put your shoulder into him.'"