Billy Evangelista had gone undefeated until this evening, his first appearance on a major Strikeforce event, but Jorge Masvidal proved to be the better man on the night and handed him his first ever loss.
Round one was competitive but Masvidal was getting the better of the stand-up exchanges thanks to his reach and crisper boxing along, mixing it up occasionally with knees to the body.
Masvidal was also having some success catching Evangelista’s kicks, and that lead to a takedown mid-way through the round, though it wasn’t long before the fight was back standing.
In reply Evangelista managed to take down Masvidal against the cage later in the round, but found himself in a guillotine choke which he managed to shake off fairly easily, and again they went back to their feet.
Round two was big for Masvidal who was by now looking very confident and relaxed, finding a home for his jab at will, while a swift straight right mid-way through the round snapped Evangelista’s head back.
While Masvidal wasn’t able to do anything significant on the ground, he did also successfully take down his opponent several times to ensure the round would go in his favor.
It was more of the same in round three as Masvidal continued to own the stand-up with his jab, while showing good footwork and head movement to keep away from his frustrated opponents offense. Appearing content to go to the scorecards, he continued to toy with Evangelista until the final bell.
No doubts about the decision here, with all three judges awarding it in Masvidal’s favor, 30-27.