‘Suga’ Rashad Evans Fighter Profile

evans_ortizWinning 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.

After the crushing defeat at the hands of Machida, he rededicated himself and goes on a four fight win streak beating Thiago Silva, Rampage Jackson, Tito Ortiz, and Phil Davis respectively

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 msamuels@thepenaltyflagblog.com and reach him on Twitter @Steeler_Mike.

Ryan Jimmo: This is the knockout face

Ryan JimmoRyan Jimmo a Canadian fighter who is fighting his first bout in the UFC brought his debut in with a bang. The light heavyweight was fighting Anthony Perosh. The bell rings, both fighters touch gloves Jimmo closes the distance between the two and throws a big right hand catching Perosh the ear and he goes to sleep in record time.  Jimmo pounces on him and throws a punch to the side of the head, but Perosh was already KO’ed and napping. The Referee steps in and waves Jimmo off of Perosh.  This knockout is now tied for the fastest KO in UFC history. The time was seven seconds.  The KO was devastating, but more funny to me was the look on Perosh’s face as he lay sleeping. I will call this the “Knockout Face”.

You never judge how a fight is going to go, but in tonight’s case Perosh was overmatched before he even got into a rhythm to attempt to fight a good fight. Perosh has a record of (13-7) four wins by knockout and 5 wins by submission, he has never had a fight go to decision. Jimmo has a record of (17-1) 8 wins by decision, 6 TKO’s, 2 by submission, and 1 by KO. Jimmo lost his first fight via TKO.

Could Jimmo be a challenger for Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones? Only time will tell. Jimmo helped his stock tremendously with his impressive knockout of Anthony Perosh.  UFC President Dana White was thoroughly impressed with Jimmo, and whether that like will earn him a title shot down the road can only be speculated at this point.  When you knock out a guy with one punch in your first fight in the UFC and impress Dana White your stock is only going to go up.

My thoughts on Jimmo are that he has great power, but how is he going to go follow up this fight? He needs to keep doing the things in a positive way. If he can continue to win he should get a title shot down the road. In the 205 lb. weight class there are some really good fighters, Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson Lyoto Machida to name a few, all who have fallen victim to Champion Jon Jones.

Stay tuned in the Light Heavyweight division, things could get interesting.  This division is stacked with talent and putting the right matches together will make it one of the busiest weight classes in the UFC.  The continuous flow of new talent in this weight class has kept it very competitive.  I see Dana White using this class a springboard for all the other weight classes.  The caliber of athletes in the UFC are by far the best in the world. This is where aspiring fighters look to get and be able to fight the stiffest competition in the world.