Rashad Evans is the former UFC light-heavyweight champion, now fighting at middleweight in the UFC after fighting for close to a decade as a light-heavyweight and briefly as a heavyweight (he won TUF 2 as a heavyweight.)
He scored one of the most vicious and shocking knockouts in UFC history over fellow former champion Chuck Liddell earning his own title shot. He was also the heavyweight winner of the second season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, and he coached the show's tenth season opposite his eventual opponent, Quinton Jackson.
After the TitleEdit
Evans most recently faced Jackson for a title shot against champion Mauricio Rua and won the fight via unanimous decision.
He was next set to face Rua for the light-heavyweight title, his second shot at the gold. The fight would take place the following year after Rua recovered and returned from another catastrophic knee surgery. A month before the fight was set to occur, Evans suffered an injury and that same night after his team-mate Jon Jones defeated Ryan Bader, Jones was offered the chance to replace Evans against Rua and he accepted.
Jones dominated Rua en route to a third round technical knockout, capturing the title. Evans was offered the next shot against Jones, who became his 'former' team-mate after Evans dropped out of the Jackson camp. Evans accepted the title shot.
Back in Contention Edit
Three months before the bout, Jones discovered that he had torn a ligament in his right hand during the Rua bout and he pulled out of his first title defense against Evans. Jones was replaced by undefeated prospect Phil Davis. The winner was sure to get the title shot. Unfortunately Davis was injured and forced to pull out a few weeks before the bout.
Lyoto Machida was asked to step in on late notice to fight a rematch against Evans. Instead he turned the matchup down. Tito Ortiz stepped in to replace Davis in a rematch against Evans. Evans defeated Ortiz via technical knockout near the end of the second round to solidify his number-one contender status inside the Octagon. He earned a title shot against the winner of the fight between bitter rivals Jon Jones and Quinton Jackson. With the victory however, Evans also shattered one of his thumbs completely.The injury yet again kept him from facing Jones, and Evans was replaced by Lyoto Machida.After recovering, Evans next signed to face the undefeated Phil Davis once again. He handed Davis his first loss with a dominant five-round unanimous decision, earning his title shot against Jones yet again in April 2012.
Jones defeated Evans via a relatively dominant unanimous decision to retain the UFC light-heavyweight title, handing Evans only his second loss. Evans indicated that the feud between the two former friends was far from over.
Twilight of Evans' Light-Heavyweight Career Edit
Evans took a significant hiatus between April and October 2012 before signing to face Pride veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in February 2013. Nogueira defeated Evans via a less-than-awe-inspiring unanimous decision, outboxing the former champion in a fight that took place almost entirely on the feet at range. Evans stated after the fight that he had been beaten mentally, not by any superiority of skills.
Next possible fights for Evans were rumored to be former Strikeforce and Pride champion Dan Henderson and former UFC light-heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua. UFC president Dana White seemed to discard the idea of a Rua matchup for Evans while all but confirming a Henderson matchup for later in 2013.
Indeed Evans fought Henderson defeating him via a sometimes-tepid split decision. He then fought friend Chael Sonnen finishing Sonnen near the end of the first round. Rumors abounded next about a possible matchup with former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Dan Cormier coming down to 205.
The matchup was set but Evans suffered a leg injury ten days before the bout was set to take place in February 2014 at UFC 170. The matchup was scrapped but possibly to be rescheduled for a later date. It was indeed rescheduled for April 2014. Instead undefeated newcomer Patrick Cummins stepped in on extremely short notice to replace Evans at UFC 170.
After an extensive recovery Evans was next set to fight Glover Teixeira but the fight was scrapped. Evans then suffered a knee injury himself in training and was out for six months to rehab the knee.
After this extensive recovery Evans signed to return against Ryan Bader losing a clear unanimous decision.
Evans was then set to fight former UFC light-heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua in a long-overdue matchup but unfortunately Rua was injured and replaced by Glover Teixeira. Teixeira knocked out Evans in the very first round. A visibly devastated Evans talked about possibly retiring after the fight.
Drop to Middleweight Edit
Several months later in mid August 2016 Evans instead announced that he would be dropping to middleweight, making his debut against Strikeforce veteran Tim Kennedy at UFC 205 in New York City. Unfortunately mere days before the fight Evans was forced to pull out of the fight and it was canceled. Both men were still paid their 'show money.'
The fight was soon rescheduled for the next numbered event which would be UFC 206.
- Rashad Evans vs. Bryan Pardoe - The fight was in the quarterfinals of the Gladiator Challenge LHW tournament.
- Rashad Evans vs. Hector Ramirez - The fight was in the semifinals of the Gladiator Challenge Light-Heavyweight tournament, on the second day of two. The previous day, Evans had defeated Bryan Pardoe by technical knockout and Hector Ramirez had defeated Dave Vitkay the same way. Cecil Peoples was unfortunately the referee. Both fighters came in undefeated. Dan Severn was in the corner of Evans. Quinton Jackson was in Ramirez's.
- Rashad Evans vs. Sam Hoger
- Rashad Evans vs. Jason Lambert
- Rashad Evans vs. Sean Salmon - The fight was the UFC debut of Sean Salmon and it ended in one of the most dynamic headkick knockouts in UFC history.
- Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans 1 - Many thought the decision should have gone to Ortiz, but the result was a draw because a point was controversially taken from Ortiz near the end of the second round for grabbing the fence. Thus Evans remained undefeated.
- Rashad Evans vs. Michael Bisping - The fight was Bisping's first defeat and it was mainly a showcase of great wrestling skills by both men, and the decision could have gone either way. It went as a split decision to Evans, and Bisping subsequently moved down in weight to 185 lbs, middleweight.
- Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans - The fight was to decide who would first face light-heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin. Rashad scored a vicious and shocking knockout against the knockout artist.
- Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans - Griffin was defending his UFC light-heavyweight championship. The fight was highly entertaining and competitive, but in the third round Evans rocked the champion on the ground after catching a leg kick and finished him there with hammerfists to be crowned the light-heavyweight champion.
- Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans - The fight was the first defense of Rashad's title, and marked the first occasion that two undefeated fighters had faced off with the prize standing as a UFC championship belt. The fight ended -- like the Liddell fight for Rashad -- in one of the most memorable knockouts in UFC history as well, except this time he was on the receiving end.
- Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva - The fight was between the two fighters who had previously been undefeated and now had only one loss -- to Lyoto Machida.
- Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans 1 - The fight was for the number-one contendership of the UFC light-heavyweight title. The fight was considered one of the biggest grudge matches thus far in UFC history. With the win, Evans earned a shot at the title versus newly crowned champion Mauricio Rua.
- Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz 2 - Tito Ortiz was a late replacement for an injured Phil Davis. The fight was Ortiz's second fight in a month.
- Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis - The winner of the fight would receive the next shot at the UFC light-heavyweight title. The fight was the first loss of Phil Davis.
- Ryan Bader vs. Rashad Evans
- Glover Teixeira vs. Rashad Evans