Dan Kelly produced an upset win over Rashad Evans tonight at UFC 209, claiming a split decision win over the former light-heavyweight champion, who was making his middleweight debut.
Evans feeling out with his jab to start, then lands a right hand. Kelly let’s his hands go, but can’t find the target.
Evans tries a head kick. Now a hard right hand. Evans with a brief combo of punches, but Kelly counters with a punch of his own that connects.
Evans back to working the jab, but a punch lands for Kelly. Solid left hand plants firmly to Evan’s face.
Evans with a punch to disguise a takedown and he lands it, but Kelly is soon back upright again. In close Evans connects with a well-timed uppercut.
Another uppercut for Evans. Kelly trying to push the pave and briefly clinches up, then lands punches as they break apart.
Knee to the body for Evans and now they clinch. Breaking apart again they are both looking to exchange. Solid body kick for Evans.
Evans showing some nice head movement, but Kelly lands a leg kick. Straight right lands for Evans. LEft hand for Kelly and then attempts a throw, but Evans stays upright.
Few uppercuts for Evans in close. Evans tries to respond with a 1-2, but another uppercut connects for Evans. Evans eats a punch and then there’s some more clinch work.
Kelly attempts another throw and Evans almost gets on top after stuffing it. Instead he stands and greets Kelly with a knee when he gets up.
Back to striking they go and Kelly needs a stoppage for an unintentional eye poke. He’s soon back into the fight though and lands a body kick.
Evans looking to use his quicker hands, but Kelly is happy to stand and trade. Big body kick for Evans and that one hurt.
Right hand for Evans, but 1-2 in return from Kelly. Evans suddenly in on a single leg and lands it. Kelly does well to get back up and Evans just misses with a head kick attempt.
Left hand for Kelly. Now a body kick. Head kick for Evans lands, but Kelly partially catches it and presses him up against the cage. Evans able to get his leg free though and moves back to striking range.
Left hook for Evans. Kelly into the clinch in the center of the Octagon. He trips Evans, but he stands back up immediately. Leg kick for Kelly.
Right hand gets through for Evans and a 1-2 in return for Kelly. Big uppercut from Evans. Right hand for Evans. Kelly motions that he’s been eye-poked again, but the ref tells them to continue fighting.
Kelly sweeps out Evans leg. Big body kick for Evans. Kelly landing with a few punches and Evans returns to the favor.
Clinch work now and Kelly works a few uppercuts. Head kick attempt from Evans. He lands a punch, but Kelly connects with a good uppercut.
Kelly tries a throw, but Evans stays upright. Right lands for Evans, then again. Now a body kick. Left hand for Kelly. Right for Evans and then one to the body for good measure. He plants a knee there too.
Solid left for Kelly snaps Evans head back. Another left hand for him. Combination of punches for Evans and then attempts a takedown that doesn’t pay off.
The two men decided to just slug it out in the center of the Octagon and Evans edges it as they both trade heavy leather until the bell sounds. We’re heading to the scorecards to decide this one!
Extremely close fight here and that’s reflected in the split decision verdict, and it turns out not to be a fairytale middleweight debut for Evans as it’s Evans who convinced two of the judges he won the fight and so he claims the biggest win of his career by far.