Winning the second season of the Ultimate Fighter competition is one hell of a way to start a career as a professional MMA fighter. Rashad Evans defeated the much larger 6”7 inch 260lb Brad Imes to win the six figure contract from UFC President Dana White.
Rashad is primarily a wrestler, but he has great hand speed and is developing his skill as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu stylist as well. He is quick, so he can take down most opponents at will. His boxing is very good and he has knockout power evidenced by his KO of Chuck Liddell at UFC 88 in 2008.
He started seriously training as a fighter in 2003 after graduating from the Michigan State University where he was a standout wrestler. He earned a degree in Psychology. Rashad was also a Junior College National Champion Niagara Community College and also an All-American.
Evans got a title shot at UFC 92 against Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin. Rashad took full advantage of the opportunity with a third round KO of Griffin to become the new champion.
In his first defense of the Light Heavyweight title Rashad faced Karate stylist Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 on May 23, 2009. Evans was KO’ed in the second round. This was defeat of Rashad’s career.
Reeling off those four wins would get Evans another shout at the title against his former training partner and friend and current Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones. In the time leading up to the fight, there was bad blood between the former partners. They would face each other at UFC 145. Jones did pretty much whatever he wanted to do in the fight and it would go the complete five rounds and Jones would retain his title. Rashad could not penetrate the defense of the champ. This would give Rashad his second defeat.
At the age of 32 Rashad is still relatively young and has not taken a lot of punishment so he is always in great shape. I think he can still fight and has a bright future ahead of him. Will he fight against Jones again? The fans will want to see this fight again.
Rashad is a quality fighter and has a lot to offer the sport and I see him being in the UFC for a long to come.
Mike Samuels is a Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz Network and you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and reach him on Twitter @Steeler_Mike.