Sam Alvey did just enought to eek out a split decision victory over Rashad Evans at UFC Fight Night 114 this evening in Mexico City.
Half a minute gone and no strikes yet as Evans stays cautious on the outside. he finally unleashes a leg kick.
A minute into the fight, Evans swoops in for a takedown, but has to settle for pressing Alvey against the cage. Alvey doing a good job of defending here and even finds space to land a knee to the body in there.
Evans still working hard, but a couple of more attempts at takedowns from this clinch position fail to pay off, and Alvey lands a couple of nice strikes in the meantime.
Finally Evans brings Alvey the mat, but he’s not able to fully control him and Alvey manages to standup, then reverses the clinch and gets some distance.
Alvey presses forward with two punch combo. Right hand lands for Evans from range. Head kick attempt from Evans is blocked. Alvey bursts forward, but Evans ducks under a punch and spins Alvey over to the cage looking for a late takedown.
Instead, Evans lands a punch and both men look ready to exchange as the round ends.
Leg kick for Evans. Another cautious opening minute here in the second round. Alvey misses with a couple of punches. Body kick for Evans.
Evans mobile on the outside here. Alvey flicks out the jab then comes in with a lead uppercut that connects. A couple of right hands score for Evans.
Head kick attempt from Evans is blocked. Left hand for Alvey. Evans ducks a punch and moves away from his opponent.
Left hand lands solidly for Alvey, but then Evans goes for takedown and manages to get him down, though only for a brief moment before he uses the cage to stand.
Evans remains in the clinch though and is again finding it hard to get Alvey down from this position against the cage. Final minute of the round and Alvey lands a knee and then breaks away.
Overhand right from Evans just grazes past Alvey’s jaw. Alvey trying to stalk the former champion now. Lead uppercut lands for him. Alvey stuffs another Evans takedown attempt as the round ends.
Evans lands a left hook early in the third. Now a left hand for Alvey. Leg kick connects for Evans. Missed punches from Alvey.
Crowd getting a big restless at the relative lack of action in the fight so far. Evans misses with a right, but the left following it up does land clean.
Alvey tries to pressure with punches, but Evans dodges that and goes into the clinch. It’s not long before they break apart again though.
Left hand for Alvey. Half the round remaining. Right hand scores for Evans and he immediately goes in for the takedown, but Alvey stays upright.
Evans targets the body with a punch. Lead uppercut and another punch behind it from Alvey. Straight left for Alvey. Big right hand for Evans, but Alvey’s chin is up to it.
Despite his lack of takedown success, Evans goes back to that again in the final minute and it’s stuffed. He stays in the clinch and Alvey lands a couple of knees.
Evans doggedly working for this, but nothing doing and he backs away. Right hook for Evans. Now a grazing left hand as the round ends. We’re headed to the judges to decide this one.
Not the most exciting fight then, but Alvey did a good job of stuffing Evans repeated takedown attempts and landed a few more clean shots than his opponent to just edge out a split decision victory (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Evans is now without a win in his last four fights and looked very uninspired and hesitant out there, while the fact that he couldn’t get his normally strong wrestling game going will be another disappointment that may leave the 37-year-old questioning whether it’s not time to hang up his gloves.