The last time fans saw Rashad Evans, he was posting an uneventful unanimous decision win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in May of 2010. Fast forward roughly 14 months and the former light heavyweight champ returned to the Octagon in resounding fashion with a vicious TKO victory over Tito Ortiz at UFC 133.
“I feel great,” said Evans. “I feel like all the trials and tribulations have paid off. When you’re in the valley, you’re tested the most, not when you’re at your peak.”
The former champions engaged in a thrilling shootout in the opening round, which Evans clearly won, and he wound up picking up “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” and slamming him to the canvas.
Evans was a little overzealous with his attack in the second stanza and got caught in an arm-in guillotine attempt on his shot.
It was very similar to what Ortiz submitted Ryan Bader with at UFC 132, but this time he wasn’t able to secure full-guard to intensify the hold.
“Suga” managed to escape and essentially took over. What sealed the top contender deal was a vicious knee to Ortiz’s chest while he was on the mat. Ortiz immediately folded over and it was a wrap.
Evans now advances to a title fight against the winner of the UFC 135 championship affair between reigning king Jon Jones and the aforementioned Jackson.
“I got my first performance in, and I want to get at Jon Jones,” Evans stated. “I want my belt back. Whether he has it or Rampage has it, I’m getting my belt back.”