Rashad Evans record is an impressive, 14-1-1
and maybe even more impressive is the list of greats he has beat. Chuck
Liddell, Forest Griffin, and most recently, Thiago Silva.
Born on September 25, 1978, Rashad “Sugar” Anton
Evans hails from Lansing Michigan. One of seven siblings, he got his
start in wrestling at Niagara-Wheatfield High School in Sanborn, New
He actually got into wrestling to get in shape for football, playing both offense and defense.
Evans then attended Niagara County Community College where he took his
wrestling skills to the next level, winning the National Junior College
championship in 2000.
With a promising wrestling future under his belt, he then attended
Michigan State University where he was a starter for three years when
he defeated wrestling legend, Greg Jones.
He is only one in four wrestlers who has won against Jones.
began Evan's list of defeats by defense: his own defense that is. "It
was done because people said I couldn't do it, and that made me dig a
little deeper," he has been quoted as saying.
It was 2004 when
Rashad Evans made his MMA debut. In a four man tournament, Rashad won
all four. He went on to win a two-day tournament, Gladiator Challenge
26 and 27.
The Ultimate Fighter
Though he had
competed as a light heavyweight, he was chosen to compete in the
television reality show, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) for the show's
second season in 2005.
The offer from The Ultimate Fighter together with Evan's 5-0 record made him “the man to watch.”
2005 proved to be huge for Rashad Evans. Not only did he become an
assistant coach for the Michigan State wrestling program, he also
competed on The Ultimate Fighter which aired in August.
As the series goes, contenders are followed through training and
preliminary qualifying fights until one fighter is determined the
winner in a season finale bout.
Rashad went into each of the fights as the underdog due to being the shortest and almost the lightest of the competitors.
by Rich Franklin, Evans first went up against Tom Murphy and won by
unanimous decision after three rounds. But his behavior in the ring
caused much controversy, especially with opposing coach, Matt Hughes.
next fight was against Mike Whitehead. Evans won by unanimous decision
after three rounds and then went on to beat Keith Jardine exactly the
same way, earning him the right to fight in the finale.
the final fight, Evans beat Brad Imes by split decision and won not
only the Ultimate Fighter season 2 winning title but also a three year,
six figure contract with the UFC and a brand new car.
On April 6,
2006, Evan's first fight under his new contract took place against Sam
Hoger, winner of The Ultimate Fighter 1. The event was referred to as
the “The Ultimate Fight Night 4.”
Evan's was now fighting in the light heavyweight in order to increase he chances of success.
a kimura submission late in round two, Rashad Evans pulled out to
defeat Hoger by split decision five minutes into the third round.
next fight was against Ultimate Fighter finalist, Steven Bonnar in June
of 2006 at UFC Fight Night 5. Dominating throughout the fight, Rashad
repeated slams and take downs, winning by unanimous decision in round
By September, Evans was in the ring again, this time facing off against Jason Lambert in UFC 63.
Significantly outweighed by Lambert, Evans went into the fight more challenged than his prior fights under the UFC contract.
Lambert had won “eight straight “ before meeting up with Evans. Early
on, Rashad Evans took control, throwing punches from the mounted
position until securing the bout 2:38 into the second round.
Fight Night 8 was held on January 25, 2007 and featured Evans vs.
Salmon. Sean Salmon, who also had strong roots in wrestling, went into
the fight with a 9-1 record.
Evans held a record of 9-0. The first round went to Salmon who won via two takedowns.
Rashad bounced back in the second round, knocking Salmon out with a
head kick that sent him to the hospital and won the fight for Rashad by
Evan's next fight was against Tito Ortiz, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion at UFC 73:Stacked on July 7, 2007.
was also a wrestling-based fighter and the two were so evenly matched,
the fight ended in a draw by unanimous decision five minutes into the
On November 17, 2008, Evans went toe-to-toe with undefeated Ultimate Fighter 3 winner, Michael Bisping.
fight turned out to be surprisingly close, Evan's won by split
decision. Two of the judges favored Evan's 29-28 while the other judge
scored it 29-28, Bisping.
fight was UFC 88 in September and was the main event. He was up against
the notorious Chuck Liddell and went in as the definite underdog.
But once again, he would give it all he had to beat the best and he did with a in the second round.
Not only did Rashad come out of the fight with the honor of “Knockout
of the Night” but with a $60,000 bonus as well and a shot at the UFC
face-off for the title took place at UFC 92 on December 27. 2008 in Las
Vegas, Nevada against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Forrest Griffin.
It was the first event where two fighters from The Ultimate Fighter would compete for the title.
who holds a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu, won the first two rounds but Evans
kicked off the third round, literally and then applied a ground and
pound that led to a TKO win when the referee stepped in to stop the
Rashad Evans took the title of the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
With a record of 13-0-1, Evans went up against Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida in UFC 98 in May of 2009.
Machida came out with a high kick then Evans with a low kick. Lyoto
pulled a flurry of punches, but Evans got back up but more punches put
him under causing his feet to give way.
Machida won the fight, 3:57 into the third round by knockout. Not only did Evans lose the fight, but the UFC title as well.
January 2, 2010, Evans fought Thiago Silva in UFC 108. The morning of
the fight, Rashad received his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under
Silva holds a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt as
well. Going into the fight, it was important to Evans to keep the fight
above ground so as not to get submitted by the Jiu-Jitsu expert.
Rashad Evans did not disappoint and won by unanimous decision five minutes into the third round. He was back!
A long awaited bout between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is expected for UFC 113 on May 1, 2010.