For the majority of his long awaited grudge match with Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Rashad Evans looked the better fighter, with a definitive speed advantage, better wrestling and a superior gameplan.

He now holds just one defeat in 17 professional fights, and certainly deserves an opportunity to go on to fight for the light-heavyweight title against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua later this year.

Despite that, In the third round Evans was floored by a punch from Rampage, and the fight was perilously close to being stopped as he tried to regain his senses under a prolonged ground and pound assault from his sworn enemy.

He survived, but it will surely be a concern for Evans that his ability to take a punch is now under question for the third fight in a row as he now looks ahead to a fight with another heavy handed striker in Shogun.

The first such instance was in his first title defense against Lyoto Machida in which he was knocked down several times before finally being brutally knocked out.

That fight served as a wake-up call to Evans and he reverted back to his wrestling base for his next bout with Thiago Silva. That appeared to be working well as he controlled much of the bout but, in a remarkably similar scenario to last night’s fight with Rampage, he then found himself rocked in the third and was lucky to make it through until the final bell.

His will to win and ability to battle through adversity cannot be questioned, but there are now clear warning signs over the quality of Evans chin.

Therefore I believe that, like his friend and team-mate Georges St.Pierre we will continue to see less and less of the 30 year-old former champion’s stand-up game, and more of his wrestling attributes in his future fights.


  1. I totally disagree, from what I saw it looked like he was knocked backwards from a knee to the collarbone going in on Rampage. From there, he survived with what seemed like relative ease the worst trouble he got into the entire fight before getting up and giving it back to Rampage. Suspect chin? Possibly. But Rua will have to match Rashads’ speed before any more doubts can be raised.

  2. Hi Eric, thanks for your thoughts. There’s certainly some doubt about what exactly put Evans down. On the replays it looks like he moves into Rampage’s knee which may have dazed him, but it is followed by a punch that appears to sends him to the canvas.

    Regardless of which blow caused it (Evans himself believes it was the knee), the end result was definitely that he was rocked (he admits that he felt “dizzy”). You can tell for sure because when they get stood up about a minute later Evans was still unsteady on his feet.

    Evans Vs Shogun will be interesting. Speed will certainly be a factor for ‘Suga’, but don’t forget that Machida was also fast, and beat Evans to the punch in their fight, yet Shogun was able to take out Machida.

    Shogun was taken down with relative ease by Machida though in the early stages of their second fight, and that might be a weakness Evans looks to exploit when they meet.

  3. Wrestlers like GSP are successful because they are physically imposing and strong for their weight class.
    Rashad Evans has always been a small Light Heavyweight so he can’t ground and pound his way through every opponent.
    Instead, he has to look for opportunities as they come.