Rashad Evans

Rashad Evans | “Suga”
Ht: 5’11 – Wt: 205 – Age: 33
Born: New York, USA
Fights out of: Delray Beach, FL, USA
Team: Imperial Athletics
Overall Record: 17-2-1
UFC Record: 12-2-1

Rashad Evans was the former UFC light heavyweight champion and The Ultimate Fighter 2 winner. Evans wrestled collegiately at Michigan State University before making his way over to mixed martial arts in 2004. Evans racked up 5 wins on the independent circuit, including victories over veterans Hector Ramirez and Jaime Jara before being selected for season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter. Evans moved up in weight to compete in TUF 2’s heavyweight competition, though he was completely dwarfed by most of his opposition. Evans showcased his wrestling abilities throughout the show, pulling off upset victories over Tom Murphy and season front-runners Mike Whitehead and Keith Jardine. Evans eventually faced off against Brad Imes in the TUF 2 Finals, winning a close split decision against his much larger opponent. Following TUF 2, Evans joined castmate Keith Jardine in New Mexico where he began training under the tutelage of Greg Jackson. Evans dropped down to light heavyweight and began his post-TUF career against Sam Hoger. The fight was close, but Evans was able to pull out the split decision victory. Evans went on to win another close decision over TUF 1 runner-up Stephan Bonnar before scoring consecutive knockout victories over Jason Lambert and Sean Salmon. Evans took a significant step up in competition as he faced off agaisnt former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz at UFC 73. The fight was close throughout, but due to Ortiz being deducted a point, the fight ended in a draw. Evans moved on to face TUF 3 winner Michael Bisping in the main event at UFC 78, once again winning a close decision due to his wrestling. Evans would be sidelined for nearly 10 months before returning against heavily-favored former champion Chuck Liddell. In a shocking turn of events, Evans knocked out the famed striker in devastating fashion. Evans received a title shot following the KO win as he squared off against TUF 1 winner Forrest Griffin at UFC 92. Evans had a difficult time finding his range early, but eventually hurt Forrest with strikes in the 3rd round, winning via TKO to become the new UFC light heavyweight champion. Rashad’s tenure as champion would not last long as he faced rising contender Lyoto Machida at UFC 98. Evans may have been too confident in his chin as Machida connected on strikes that ultimately left Evans unconscious on the floor. Evans eventually bounced back with solid decision victories over Thiago Silva and Quinton Jackson, the latter of which concluded a heated rivalry between the two TUF 10 coaches. Evans was named the #1 contender and was set to challenge Shogun Rua for the title, but was injured during training and soon replaced by training partner Jon Jones. Rashad soon returned from injury and began a bitter war of words with his former camp and new champion Jon Jones. The two former teammates were unable to settle their differences in the cage due to injuries and scheduling issues, so Evans agreed to face late replacement Tito Ortiz at UFC 133. Ortiz threatened with a guillotine, but otherwise it was all Evans as he dominated the former champion, winning via 2nd round TKO. Evans heads into 2012 as the #1 contender in the UFC light heavyweight division.

2011 Breakdown:
Evans only fought once in 2011 as he continued to struggle with injuries, though he maintained his #1 contender status.
Evans began the year as the #1 contender for the UFC light heavyweight title, but following a knee injury was replaced by teammate Jon Jones at UFC 128.
Evans, now healthy, was set to face newly-crowned champion and now bitter rival Jon Jones at UFC 133, but Jones injured his hand.
Evans would instead face Tito Ortiz as he looked to avenge a previous draw on his record. Rashad landed a few strikes early as both men continued to jostle for position. Rashad eventually began to get the best of the striking exchanges and scored a takedown to finish the round. In the 2nd, Rashad shot in for a takedown, but Ortiz nearly was able to lock on a deep guillotine. Evans eventually escaped, gaining a dominant position over Ortiz on the ground. Ortiz tried to get to his feet, but Evans landed a few big knees that forced Ortiz to cover up. Evans swarmed with punches and the referee was forced to stop the fight.
Evans was once again scheduled to face Jon Jones for the title, this time at UFC 140, but Evans was forced off the card due to injury.

2012 Forecast:
Rashad Evans is looking to win back his UFC light heavyweight championship heading into 2012. Following a myriad of injuries and delays in his quest to fight former training partner and current champion Jon Jones, the time looks to be nearing for when they will finally square off. Evans has proven over and over again in his career that he can defy the odds. Dating back to Evans’ collegiate wrestling career, where he knocked off the National Champion, Evans has continued to relish and find success in the underdog role. Evans stunned everyone by winning TUF 2 and was a considerable underdog coming into previous fights with Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell. Many fans feel that Evans poses the biggest threat to Jones’ belt due to training with him in the past. Evans has knockout power, though he has relied heavily on his wrestling ever since losing to Machida. Evan’s chin was once thought to be an asset, but has been rocked in each of fights against Machida, Rampage, and Thiago Silva. Evans will need to regain his swagger and start letting his hands go as he did against Ortiz to have a true shot at winning back his title. Should he lose to Jones, Evans is one of the shortest 205-pounders in the division and would be wise to consider a move down to middleweight where he would be an instant title contender for Anderson Silva.

Rashad Evans Fight Record

Overall Record: 16-1-1
2008-2011 Record: 5-1

2011 Record: 1-0
Win | Tito Ortiz | Tko | Rd 2 | UFC | 08/06/2011

2010 Record: 2-0
Win | Quinton Jackson | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 05/29/2010
Win | Thiago Silva | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 01/02/2010

2009 Record: 0-1
Loss | Lyoto Machida | KO | Rd 2 | UFC | 05/23/2009

2008 Record: 2-0
Win | Forrest Griffin | Tko | Rd 3 | UFC | 12/27/2008
Win | Chuck Liddell | KO | Rd 2 | UFC | 09/06/2008

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