In a very lackluster co-main event fight at UFC 156 Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was handed a unanimous decision victory over Rashad Evans.
The two men size each other up from just outside of range in the opening minute with Evans finally breaking the tension with a well placed right kick to the body.
Back to the feeling out process they go – a cautious start to this one. Two minutes down and Evans throws a head kick, losing a bit of tape that was around his toe in the process.
Nogueira starting to let go with his hands now and lands a couple of jabs and a nice straight left. Evans presses forward, but isn’t throwing much and Nogueira flicks out the jab.
A hard right hand during a short flurry from Evans gives Nogueira pause for thought, but he’s ok.
Nogueira comes forward with a punch and Evans steps underneath it and lands a takedown, though Lil Nog is quickly back upright. Two go back to striking as the round comes toa conclusion.
Still a measured approach from both fighters to begin the second round. Occasionally Evans steps forward with a brief flurry without much landing, while Nog throws the odd left or right.
90 seconds to go in the round and still nothing especially meaningful from either man. Suddenly the fight springs to life with Nogueira landing a solid jab and Evans goes in for the takedown. He’s not able to secure it fully though and the Brazilian gets back up.
They exchange a series of punches back-and-forth and at the end of it Evans lands a hurtful blow that staggers Nogueira just a tad. Evans throws a head kick towards the end of the round, but it’s largely blocked.
Not a whole lot of action to separate the two men heading into the final round. Neither man is really throwing caution to the wind here and with half the round gone the most significant moment is an eye poke to Nogueira that causes a brief stoppage.
Nogueira’s throwing a few light kicks and that could be the difference here as there’s really nothing much else to catch the eye here.
Evans tries a couple of takedown attempts, but they both fail. A few more kicks and a knee from Nogueira, an occasional punch from Nogueira.
In the final 10 seconds they clinch up and trade knees and it’s all over.
Disappointing fight, but who gets the victory? It’s Nogueira who claims it by unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
They could have just called this one a draw to be honest because neither man really showed enough here to really claim a victory. Even if Evans had won I think there’s very little chance that the UFC would have given him the rumored title shot against Anderson Silva based on this lethargic display.